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

Why are we doing this?

Are you one of those who joined the Talent Exchange with great enthusiasm and then either made one or two purchases or just sat back and waited for custom before buying anything?

Have you ever wondered why we are using a new 'currency' instead of Rands?

The prime objective of the Talent Exchange is not just to provide a unique way of trading, something to supplement your 'real' (Rand) income. It is an attempt to reinvent money.

Our conventional money system simply does not work for most people and is the fuel driving our unsustainable economies. We live in a world over which we feel that we have no control. We spend our lives either paying off debt, working in jobs we hate simply to get that cheque at the end of the month, eking out a living or simply starving and living in utter poverty. Many of those who are completely marginalised have no choice but to turn to crime, making life intolerable for all of us.

The Talent Exchange, of course, is not the solution to all society's problems but we are attempting to reinvent money so that it really serves people and not the other way around. We are attempting to match wants with skills so that they get satisfied directly without waiting for the money that never comes. We are attempting to plug the leaky bucket that drains wealth from our communities. We are attempting to re-build our communities so that we get to know and help our neighbours.

So if you feel concerned about what our conventional money system is doing to us and our planet, get involved in the Talent Exchange and help us reinvent money. We recognise that trading in the Talent Exchange is still an inconvenient experience, but the more who get involved the sooner we will overcome this inconvenience and not have to rely on the conventional money system.

Administration: Local Area Co-ordinators

There are many members of the Talent Exchange who are not participating at all, or only occasionally. These are often people who do not have computers, who are not familiar with computers or just hate using the internet. It is a shame that such people cannot derive any benefit from the Talent Exchange because there is no 'on-the-ground' interface for them. The Talent Exchange has often been criticised as something for the web-enabled middle class only, not something for those who could really benefit from it - those marginalised by our conventional money system.

The same could be said of the commercial banks. They are also computer based and trying to encourage their customers to do their banking on the internet. The difference is that the commercial banks have high street branches where the computerless and computer challenged can go.

The Talent Exchange is trying to set up 'branches' too, by means of setting up a network of local area co-ordinators. The co-ordinators will offer 'branch' services, such as the provision of the offerings and wants lists on paper, entering trades, providing paper Trading Slips and the like. Co-ordinators will provide the services that they are able to provide. Some may offer no more than the entering of trades while others may offer use of their computer(s) like an internet cafe, training and advice.

If you would like to be a local area co-ordinator in your sub-area please write to the email address below. Your name will appear on the list of co-ordinators that will soon be accessible from the 'Governance' page, and new members will be provided with the list when they join up. You will be able to offer your services for Talents and earn a steady 'income' doing things for other members in your area.

In the meantime, there are a number of members already offering CES services. If you have a problem entering your trades contact one of them or order from the Administration paper copies of the lists so that you can get active.

Site statistics: June 2004

Cape Town

June 2004 saw a downturn in trading but this was due to the fact that there was no trading day in the month. Despite this the month saw relatively good trading figures.

At the end of June 2004:

Trader Statistics

Total members: 559 Total traders: 325
% of members who have traded: 58.14 % of members who have not traded: 41.86
Total sellers: 176 Seller/buyer ratio: 0.56
% of members who have sold: 31.48 % of traders who have sold: 54.15
# of sellers who have bought 164 # of sellers who have not bought: 12
Total buyers: 313 Buyer/seller ratio: 1.78
% of members who have bought: 55.99 % of traders who have bought: 96.31
# of buyers who have sold: 164 # of buyers who have not sold: 149
Trading Statistics
Total # of sales: 3148 Total # of purchases: 3148
Total income: 308820.07 Total expenditure: 308820.07
Total income/exp minus levies: 305172.63 Overall balance: 0.00
Average value of all transactions 95.85 Average value of June transactions 184.87
Talentry Statistics
Total revenue: 3647.44 Transferred to Admin: 0.00
# of levy payments: 437 Talentry balance: 3647.44


Individuals: 479
Families: 11
Companies: 33
Organisations: 24
Virtuals: 9
Public: 2
Administrators: 1
Total: 559

Sales 2003/2004:

Month Sales Talents Levy Total
February 3 295.00   295.00
March 8 394.00   689.00
April 9 1,768.00   2,457.00
May 21 2,802.02   5,259.02
June 80 6,091.82   11,350.84
July 113 10,493.65   21,844.49
August 194 19,949.01   41,793.50
September 263 26,404.88   68,198.38
October 179 35,284.47   103,482.85
November 151 18,504.75   121,987.60
December 91 10,601.50   132,589.10
January 316 26,223.62   158,812.72
February 269 27,392.60   186,205.32
March 634 37,249.23   223,454.55
April 204 15,041.29   238,495.84
May 466 39,131.89 1,443.84 277,627.73
June 149 27,544.90 2,203.60 305,172.63
Total 3,150 T305,172.63 T3,647.44  

Web Site: New features

Announcements Page

The most important new feature this month is the Announcements page. You may have noticed that the buttons across the top have changed, the [Add Offer] and [Add Want] buttons having been dropped for the [Announce] and [Governance] buttons.

Click on the [Announce] button and you will be taken to a new list where members are making announcements about things related to the CES. You may add an announcement by clicking on the [Add Announcement] button on the grey bar at the top of the list.

The Announcement facility is meant for making announcements about events or anything else that might be of interest to CES members. Events do not need to have anything to do with the CES but should be of interest to CES people or serve to build CES community.

The Administration will use the Announcements page to announce CES events and for making announcements about important issues of interest to the membership.

Please do not use the Announcement page for drawing further attention to your offers or wants.

Add Offers and Add Wants

These two buttons have been removed from the main menu at the top. They are now to be found under [Offerings] and [Wants]. When you click these buttons you will see a grey bar above the list of offering categories and wants respectively. Here you will find the buttons to add offerings and wants.

Governance page

Last month we announced that there will soon be a 'Governance' page where issues of CES governance will be aired. More than this, the new section will also contain site statistics, a list of local-area co-ordinators and other information about the group in general.

Offerings page

The layout of the Offerings page has changed somewhat. As our list of offerings has become so long, it has become impractical to have the whole list available from the web site. If you wish to see the whole list click on the printer icon at the top right of the grey bar. This will load the full list which you can then print out. One new offerings category has been added - 'Pets and Animals'. As the range of offerings expand new offering categories will be added. Currently there is only one category for goods. This category will be broken down into sub-categories to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Tip: Searching remote groups

With membership growing in other groups around the country, don't forget that you can search for offerings in other places. You might be missing out if you confine your searches to the Cape Town group only. To search all groups at once, go to the offerings page by clicking on the [Offerings] button at the top. Enter your search terms in the 'Search Groups' box and press the (Go) button. This will bring up results from all groups in the country. Try typing 'Accommodation', for example. If you find something that you want in another group, you can trade with them just as easily as if the trader was in your own group. And if you go to a place where another group is operating, you can spend your locally-earned Talents in that place.

SANE CES Administration
Email: ctte{at}

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