Community Exchange News

Community Exchange News is the Newsletter of the Cape Town group of the SANE Community Exchange System


The Talent Exchange - where your wealth is your talent

Administration: Committee members wanted!

As the Talent Exchange develops the need for additional committee members increases. As we do not yet have a constitution, membership of the Committee is still open, and members serve on the Committee on a voluntary basis.

If you would like to participate in the planning and development of this exciting project write to the Committee at ctte{at}

Currently meetings are held every second week as there are so many issues to deal with, but our aim is to break the Committee into a number of functional groups that will not need to meet so frequently.

Events: Talent Exchange Market Days

No Market Day is planned for April. What with Easter, school holidays, the election and other public holidays, there wasn't a suitable weekend.

Next month we hope to hold another Market Day but the venue has not yet been decided. There is talk of holding monthly Market Days in the South Peninsula, but we also hope to hold Market Days in other sub-areas on a regular basis.

If anyone has any suggestions about a venue or wishes to participate in organising such an event, please contact the market organiser at markets{at}

Events: Talent Exchange Socials

The Talent Exchange is about building community. Also, traders find that their custom is increased when others know them. In order for members to get to know each other we are planning social events in each sub area. We could have braais; form dinner clubs, book clubs, movie clubs, bridge clubs, hiking clubs etc.

The co-ordinator in your sub area may soon write to you requesting ideas for arranging social events. If you would like to get involved in arranging social events in your area, please write to the administrator at ctte{at}

Groups: Inter-group Trading

There are now ten separate CES groups sharing the same internet interface. Depending on the account number entered on the home page ( the user will be taken to the relevant group. What users see before clicking any buttons, whether a Johannesburg member or a Cape Town member, is exactly the same. What is different is the data. Each group has its own separate database of members, offerings, wants and trading details.

It is important that you know that the first part of your account number is relevant. All account numbers are of the format: ABCD1234. The first four alphabetical characters (group codes) represent the group while the digits represent the member's number in the group. The following are the codes:

ELCE East London GDNR Garden Route HBRG Helderberg JHBG Johannesburg MCGR McGregor OMVA Oude Molen PECE Port Elizabeth PRTX Pretoria SANE Cape Town SBTE Stellenbosch

There is a tendency at markets to enter only the four numbers of the account. This can cause problems as more people join other groups and attend our events. If the group code is missing you may enter the wrong person as your buyer.

News: New CES Groups

The East London CES group has been set up and will soon start operating. An administrator has been trained and new members will soon be added to the system.

We are hoping to start our first group in KwaZulu-Natal soon.

Site statistics: March, best trading month ever

Cape Town

March saw a continuation of the upward trend in trading since the beginning of the year.

At the end of March 2004:

Sales 2003/2004:

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
November151 18,504.75 121,987.60
December91 10,601.50 132,589.10
January316 26,223.62 158,812.72
February269 27,392.60 186,205.32
March634 37,249.23 223,454.55
Total2,331 223,454.55

Web Site: New Features

Transaction editing
The most useful addition this month is the ability for sellers to edit and/or delete transaction data. It happens quite regularly that a seller enters the incorrect information when recording a transaction. The error might be the wrong member debited, the incorrect amount entered (e.g. 100 instead of 10) or an incorrect description. All of these types of errors can now be corrected.

In the past there was no way to correct errors, although it was possible for the buyer to 'refund' him or herself if too much was charged or a transaction was to be cancelled. The problem with this was that doing so messed up our overall trading statistics. For example if someone credited herself with T10,000 against a buyer and this was cancelled by the buyer entering a counter T10,000, T20,000 worth of trading activity would have been recorded!

To use this new feature go to '4. My Statement of Account' on the home page of your account. This will list all your sales and purchases. At the bottom of the list, the 'Description' field of all sales you have made within the past ten days will be green. This means they are clickable and hence editable. Click on the 'Description' and you will be taken to a form where you can modify the Amount and Description fields, or delete the entire record.

Modifying the Amount will alter your overall Income figure as well as your Balance. It will also modify the buyer's overall Expenditure figure and Balance. The total figures of the entire group will also be adjusted. Deleting the transaction has the same effect.

'Member Balances' details
The '5. Member Balances' feature on the home page of your account is perhaps the most interesting page on the site. It shows the current trading position of every member of the group, as well as the overall trading position of the group.

It is now possible to click on the column titles to sort by those columns. This will show you, for example, who has made the most sales and who has the largest debit. Interesting stuff!

A number of other small changes have been made to the site but they won't be mentioned here. See if you can spot them!

Administration: Transaction Levy

The CES Administration needs an income to run the system. Up to now it has derived its income from the donations that sellers have made when entering their transactions. The donation system has not been very successful because, being voluntary, it depended on the goodwill of sellers. Sellers were requested to make a donation of 10% of the amount they were crediting themselves. As many sellers simply ignored the donation request, the amount of income derived by the Administration amounted to less than 5% of group income.

This is all about to change. We are about to implement a TEAL-style transaction levy. This means that from every transaction entered, eight per cent will automatically go to the Administration. Four per cent will come from the seller and four per cent from the buyer. For example, if a transaction of T100 is entered by a seller, the seller will be credited for T96 and the buyer will be debited for T104. The Administration will gain T8.

We are hoping this will that ensure the Administration will derive a consistent income of 8% of all trades. This income will be injected back into the system, benefitting everyone.

Lists: Get them on Paper

Once before we mentioned that it is possible to get everything on paper if you hate the internet and are not familiar with computers. We can provide the Offerings List, the Wants List, this Newsletter and Updates in printed form if you wish.

Unfortunately to send them by post is expensive and we have to charge Rands because the Post Office doesn't yet accept Talents for stamps! The Offerings List is now over 90 pages so for each issue we have to charge R15. If you would like it quarterly it is going to cost you R60. If you would like to receive this Newsletter, the Wants List and all Updates by post it is going to cost you R75 per year. If you would like to receive the Offerings List monthly just add R15 for each extra month.

If you would like to receive all this paper stuff by post please write to ctte{at} and place your order.

We are in the process of setting up local area co-ordinators so if you can't afford this then you will be able to visit your nearest co-ordinator and read all the communiqués there. We will publish this list of co-ordinators soon.

Tip: Making Donations

Until the new system of automatic transaction levies is implemented we request that you make a 10% donation to the Administration when entering your trades.

We have noticed that after markets sellers add one donation per entry. It is far easier to add up all your credits and then work out a single 10% donation. You can then enter all your transactions without making donations, and add the single donation to the last entry.

SANE CES Administration
Email: ctte{at}

The SANE Community Exchange System is an intiative of the South African New Economics Network