Community Exchange News

Community Exchange News is the Newsletter of the Cape Town SANE Community Exchange System (CES)


CES Administration: Income Required

The most notable addition to the CES web site this month is the "Make a donation to the CES Administration" feature on the 'Transaction Details' page.

Members of the CES have never been asked to pay a membership or service fee to belong to the CES, nor has a levy or 'tax' on sales been imposed. This was because the CES was a pilot project and a decision was taken to try to finance the system out of its own resources.

Now that the CES has taken off the CES Administration is becoming hard pressed to maintain and expand the system. To continue providing services the Administration needs an 'income' and the only way to obtain this is from the members of the CES. For this reason we are calling on members to make a donation of 10% of their sales to the CES Administration.

The CES Administration is the body that keeps the system running, organises events, promotes and expands the system etc.

Donations are made on the 'Transaction Details' page. When you are entering details of your sales, please make a donation to the CES Administration. A donation is not compulsory, but like a tip at a restaurant, it is a notification of your satisfaction with the service provided.

Every Talent earned by the Administration will be ploughed back into the system through members being called upon to provide goods and services to the Administration. So instead of seeing a donation as a personal expense, it will benefit the system in a number of ways and you might benefit personally by being called on to provide goods or services for the CES. It will also inject a lot of 'money' into the system, which will have a multiplier effect.

The CES Administration account is a 'public' account. This means that if you click on 'CES Administration' in any list you will be able to get a full statement of account for the Administration by clicking on the [Trading Position] button on the member details page. This means that all CES Administration activities are transparent and anyone can question any income and expenditure.

News: CES Groups start in Johannesburg and Pretoria

Two new CES groups have started, in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Both are part of our system, using the same web interface but with their own data (members, offerings, wants etc.). We are in the process of linking these groups so that everyone will be able to trade with anyone in any group nationwide. The groups are run separately with their own committees.

Another new group will be starting at Oude Molen in Pinelands and there have been a number of inquiries from all over about starting separate groups.

CES Administration: New Committee Members Needed

As the CES grows, the task of administering the system grows. The small committee of volunteers who brought the CES to where it is today - a 'business' with a turnover of over T110,000 in 9 months - is feeling the pressure. If anyone wants to join the committee to drive forward this exciting project, please write to us and let us know.

Trading: Anyone got a Shop?

The most inconvenient aspect of the CES is the fact that it has no shops. Often it is easier to pop down to the local shop than to bother with phoning a CES member.

To get around this we require a venue where members' offerings can be sold. First prize would be someone who has a shop and is willing to sell goods supplied by CES members for Talents. Second prize would be some organisation or individual who is willing to sell other members' goods. For example, someone might have space in an out-room or garage where member goods can be stored and displayed.

This could be a CES 'business' in itself. The 'shopkeeper' could buy goods from members, mark them up and sell them for a profit to earn Talents.

Please think about this. Maybe you know someone who has a shop and who would be willing to sell goods for Talents. If they are not on the system they could be encouraged to join.

Site statistics: Over T100,000 traded!

As at 10 November 2003:

Sales 2003:

Month Sales Talents Total
February3 295.00 295.00
March8 394.00 689.00
April9 1,768.00 2,457.00
May21 2,802.02 5,259.02
June80 6,091.82 11,350.84
July113 10,493.65 21,844.49
August194 19,949.01 41,793.50
September263 26,404.88 68,198.38
October179 35,284.47 103,482.85
November (10 days)61 7,797.50 111,280.35
Total931 111,280.35

Future Developments: Payments by Cellphone

Most people in disadvantaged areas do not have computers, but there is no shortage of cell phones. We are busy working on a system of entering trades using cell phones. This will make it much easier for those without computers, and even for those who do, to enter their trading information.

Tip: Correcting Incorrect Transaction Details

Have you made the mistake of entering incorrect information while inputting your sale details (Transacting: As Seller / Transaction Details)?

You can make two types of error: you debited the incorrect member (selected the wrong account number); you entered the wrong amount.

There is no way of deleting trade details once they have been entered. The only way to correct the error is to contact the member you have just debited and ask them to enter a counter transaction to nullify the amount you debited them. For example, if you entered the wrong account number and debited a member for T100, phone the member and ask him/her to debit you for T100. If you have entered an incorrect amount ask the member to enter an amount that corrects the amount (e.g. if you meant to enter T100 but entered T1000 by mistake, ask the member to debit you for T900.

If you really get into trouble (e.g. the person you debited is not available) you may contact the Administrator to get the error rectified but we prefer not to mess with the database and encourage members to sort out their own errors.

SANE CES Administration