Established as a not-for-profit professional association in 2004, SAGEA has become the hub of graduate employment in South Africa. We represent over 340 individuals across more than 200 organisations, ranging from corporate employers to higher-education institutions to service providers and professional organisations.

Newcomers to the industry, as well as the country’s top talent management specialists, benefit from belonging to SAGEA where they can personally interact with one another to share ideas and experiences. We provide our members with access to the latest graduate employment insights, trends, global best practice and resources to help them attract and retain the best talent for their businesses.

We believe in the power of sharing knowledge and human connection to advance graduate employment and elevate the careers of those involved. Making use of synergies, resourcefulness and insight, we have become the authority in the field of graduate employment in South Africa.

SAGEA Insights

We run a number of significant graduate employment insights studies every year. Our Employer Benchmarking and Candidate Insights survey has become the go-to piece of research for understanding the graduate employment market in South Africa, providing our members with up-to-date trends on graduate vacancies, graduate salaries, candidate job-search behavior and a whole lot more.

Our recently-introduced biennial Graduate Development and Retention Study is quickly reaching the same status as our members’ roles continue to grow beyond attracting and recruiting the right talent for their businesses, towards playing an ever-larger role in managing, developing and retaining talent in the digital era.

The Annual SAGEA Employer Awards is the ultimate feather in the cap for graduate employers, recognizing and acknowledging those organisations who have excelled in delivering exceptional graduate employment experiences for their young talent.

In addition to our flagship graduate employment insights projects, we conduct a number of ad-hoc projects such as Bursary and Scholarship Funding and mini-surveys as needed by our members. We pride on ourselves on being a community, where our members can share their experiences and receive support for resolving their challenges.

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Meet our Board


Jane Waters

Jane Waters is the COO of Allen & Overy, Johannesburg, a multinational law firm headquartered in London.  She has chosen to spend virtually her entire career within Professional Services firms, beginning her career and completing her HR training at Ernst & Young in London.

Jane has a BSC Hons in Anthropology and a post-graduate qualification in Human Resources Management.  If Jane didn’t have three small children she’d probably have a Masters too!


Dr. Ilka Dunne

Ilka unlocks potential in people, systems, places and projects. She impacts leadership and culture at Rand Merchant Bank, connecting people through meaningful engagements, creative communication strategies and coaching.  

Ilka has a BA Dramatic Art Hons, an MEd and a PhD in Personal, Interpersonal and Professional Leadership and is an accredited Meta-coach with the Meta-Coach Foundation and the International Society for Neuro-Semantics.


Joanna Preston

Joanna completed an Honours degree in Industrial Psychology at UJ, and is a qualified Psychometrist registered with the HPCSA. She began her career as a management consultant in 2003 with Accenture South Africa, and after two years moved into the role of Graduate Recruiter. She joined FNB in 2006 to develop FNB’s Graduate Programme.

Joanna now heads up the Young Talent Practice at FNB as a whole.

Our Members

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Member Testimonials

Next "Having only been part of SAGEA for a year, I am continuously blown away by the passion, knowledge and ideas shared between members; the drive for collaboration and the desire to play a role in graduate development in South Africa. Being a member of SAGEA has allowed me to really learn and expand my understanding of the work we do while receiving exposure to networking opportunities and engaging in stimulating discussions with a variety of professionals. I cannot describe how valuable this experience has been for me and look forward to another year of learning!" Stacey Rontiris, Tomorrow Trust Next "It is all too easy to become insular and develop a myopic approach to one's work. SAGEA continuously embraces and shares new thought leadership streams, ways of thinking and best practice and, in so doing, encourages its community to do similarly. I value the dialogue and shared learning, as well as the opportunity to remain plugged in to this community for connecting and networking; reflection, support and continuous re-invention." Charisse Drobis, Wits Business School Next "The networking with other SAGEA members in different industries is valuable. The presentations are always relevant and of a high calibre, addressing pressing issues in a creative, engaging manner." Yolanda de Beer, Kaya Consulting Next "Securing budget for our SAGEA membership is the first thing I do when we plan our yearly budgets. My own role spans across the Middle East and Africa and being a SAGEA member helps me tremendously not only in South Africa but in our entire work with graduates. The insights, the networking at events and outside, the resources provided – it’s really valuable and being a member is a must for all TA professionals." Caroline Berns, Ericsson Next "I have been a member of SAGEA through various employers over the last 10 years or so. The organisation is passionate about Graduate recruitment and development and helping us build our talent pipelines in the most effective manner. Cathy has a wealth of knowledge, bar none, in the industry and has helped me more times than I can count in succeeding and making an impact in the organisations I have served." Nishana Ramsunder, Hatch