Community Exchange News

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


  1. Editorial: Two Years of Talent Exchange
  2. News: New CES Logo Competition
  3. New Group: Durban Talent Exchange
  4. Enterprise: Talentaal Offering Directory
  5. CTTE Group Statistics: November 2004
  6. Web Site: New features
  7. Debate: Ideas Exchange Launched
  8. Tip: How to Edit your Offerings
  9. Theory: What About the Taxman?
  10. Administration: Local Area Co-ordinators

The Talent Exchange — where your wealth is your talent

Editorial: Two Years of Talent Exchange

At the end of the second year of the Talent Exchange we can be truly proud of what has been achieved in that short period. There is no LETS group anywhere in the world that has shown such phenomenal growth as ours. The eyes of the world are watching what we are doing and in a way we are pioneers in the realm of 'new money'.

The CES is not perfect but we are finding the way. It has reached a point where many things need to change, but even a year ago no one could have predicted what those changes should be. Now it is becoming clear that we need to concentrate on improving the way that goods are distributed. Currently there are no CES shops and the only venues for distributing our wares, apart from private trade, are market days. The 'inconvenience factor' is the greatest brake on development. What is needed now are distribution points, depots and later, proper CES shops.

Another area where we need to concentrate our efforts is in bringing on board the computerless masses. Our local area co-ordinator system was a first step in that direction but we need to improve on that and create real 'branches' of the CES 'bank'. The CES has to be made to work for those without computers and the computer illiterate. The conventional banking system is also computer based but it works for (some of) the computerless through high street branches. We need to go further than the conventional banks and bring 'banking' to even those whom the conventional banks cannot reach.

We wish all CES members a happy holiday season and prosperous (read: talented) new year. Let's make 2005 a turning point and show the world that our new money system is better than the archaic conventional one that creates mass misery and the destruction of our environment.

It's one week to christmas. Make sure that your christmas stocking contains something purchased from the Talent Exchange. That means one less visit to the shopping malls and one more link in the chain of community building!

News: New CES Logo Competition

A number of new logo designs have been submitted, by members from several CES groups. All of the submitted designs are viewable from the home page of your account on the CES web site (look at the bottom of the right hand panel, click on 'Logos'). Earlier design submissions are also viewable.

We are still calling for more designs so please, if you have time during the holiday period, get behind your computer and come up with the ultimate design and submit it to logos[at]

Remember, the design needs to be simple but powerful. It must be able to hold its own in shop windows against Visa and MasterCard! What we mean is that it must be immediately recognisable and easily associated with the Talent Exchange.

Winner receives: T5000
Artist deadline: end Dec 2004
Voter deadline: end Jan 2005

New Group: Durban Joins the Talent Exchange

A new group has been created for Durban. While it has no members yet, it will begin to fill up in the new year. We have found someone in Durban who is keen to get a group going there. There is also interest from the KZN Midlands and from Pietermaritzburg, so hopefully we will have three groups operating there in 2005.

Enterprise: Talentaal Offering Directory

The first purely Talent business entity has been formed. The name of the company is Talentaal and their first project will be to create and distribute a paper offerings directory. The directory will include offerings from all groups across the country. The directory will also contain information about how to use the system and increase trade. Members will be able to pay for more prominent adverts so that their offerings stand out, much like the paper Yellow Pages. The directory will be distributed periodically and there is also talk of a Talent Exchange magazine.

This is an impressive example of enterprise arising from the Talent Exchange. While many members complain about the lack of this or that or wish the system worked in another way, this group has shown the way: if you want something different just do it. The Talent Exchange is meant to be a 'clearing house' for the exchange of talents, not a centrally-controlled body with an administration that is expected to be the source of all initiative. If you have any ideas about how the Talent Exchange 'economy' can be improved, don't grumble and expect admin to do it — just get together with some others and turn it into an offering!

CTTE Group statistics: November 2004

November saw continued growth with the total for the month, T96,862.05, falling just short of the projected T100,000 for the first time. The growth rate over the previous month was 17.3%, which is down from October's growth of 46.8% over September. Hopefully in December we will crack the T100,000 milestone for the first time. With exponential growth, we'll soon be cracking T1,000,000 per month!

Membership growth of 7.2% in November was down from October's 13.7%, but still a respectable increase in the number of new people joining.

Last year December was a disappointing month when it appeared as if members abandoned the Talent Exchange for the shopping malls to do their christmas shopping. Let's try to avoid the malls this year and demonstrate to ourselves that we don't need them, even for christmas.

At the end of November 2004:

Trader Statistics:

Total members: 882 Total traders: 509
% of members who have traded: 57.71 % of members who have not traded: 42.29
Total sellers: 293 Seller/buyer ratio: 0.62
% of members who have sold: 33.22 % of traders who have sold: 57.56
# of sellers who have bought 256 # of sellers who have not bought: 37
Total buyers: 472 Buyer/seller ratio: 1.61
% of members who have bought: 53.51 % of traders who have bought: 92.73
# of buyers who have sold: 256 # of buyers who have not sold: 216
Trading Statistics
Total # of sales: 5297 Total # of purchases: 5292
Total income: 638468.85 Total expenditure: 638468.85
Income/expenditure less levies: 611869.01 Overall balance: 0.00
Talentry Statistics (from 15 May 2004)
Total revenue: 26599.84 Transferred to Admin: 19791.00
# of levy payments: 2581 Current Talentry balance: 6808.84

Member statistics at the end of November 2004:

Individuals: 752
Families: 28
Companies: 54
Organisations: 33
Virtuals: 12
Public: 2
Administrators: 1
Total: 882

Trading statistics up to the end of November 2004:

Month-Year Trades Talents Average Levy Total (- levy) Total (+ levy)
February 2003 3 295.00 98.33 0.00 295.00 295.00
March 2003 8 394.00 49.25 0.00 689.00 689.00
April 2003 9 1768.00 196.44 0.00 2457.00 2457.00
May 2003 21 2802.02 133.43 0.00 5259.02 5259.02
June 2003 80 6091.82 76.15 0.00 11350.84 11350.84
July 2003 113 10493.65 92.86 0.00 21844.49 21844.49
August 2003 194 19949.01 102.83 0.00 41793.50 41793.50
September 2003 263 26404.88 100.40 0.00 68198.38 68198.38
October 2003 179 35284.47 197.12 0.00 103482.85 103482.85
November 2003 151 18504.75 122.55 0.00 121987.60 121987.60
December 2003 91 10601.50 116.50 0.00 132589.10 132589.10
January 2004 316 26223.62 82.99 0.00 158812.72 158812.72
February 2004 269 27392.60 101.83 0.00 186205.32 186205.32
March 2004 634 37249.23 58.75 0.00 223454.55 223454.55
April 2004 204 15041.29 73.73 0.00 238495.84 238495.84
May 2004 464 39853.81 84.34 1443.84 277627.73 279071.57
June 2004 149 28646.70 184.87 2203.60 305172.63 308820.07
July 2004 98 41020.27 404.09 2839.16 344773.32 351259.92
August 2004 184 41182.04 215.70 2984.96 384462.88 393934.44
September 2004 522 56503.18 104.30 4116.94 438907.59 452496.09
October 2004 638 82605.04 124.75 6025.96 518499.65 538114.11
November 2004 707 96862.05 132.06 6985.38 611869.01 638468.85
Total: 5297 T638468.85 T120.53 T26599.84    
Excluding levy: T611869.01 T115.51  

Web Site: New features

There have been no major changes to the site over the past month. However, there have been a few changes that will help you see in more detail how your sub-area is doing as a separate component of the Cape Town Talent Exchange. All the changes are in the 'This Group' section.

Before clicking on the [This Group] button, go to the home page of your account and select your sub-area from the 'Area Filter' drop down list at the top of the left-hand panel. Then go to the 'This Group' page. Click on any of the buttons that show statistical information about your group. You will find that the statistical information relates to your sub-area only. You can select any of the different sub-areas to get information that shows which sub-areas are in 'credit' and which are in 'debit'. These figures give a picture of the 'balance of trade' between the different sub-areas.

Forthcoming feature: multiple trade entry

A new feature about to be introduced is the ability to enter multiple trades in one go. Many traders have been calling for this for a long time. Those who sell many items at a market find it a pain to have to enter their trades one after the other. This process can take a long time and means a long period on line, something many members cannot afford.

There will be a number of ways of entering multiple trades. One will be a form that works pretty much like the current form, but you will be able to enter five or more trades at once. Another way will allow you to prepare the trading information offline and then copy and paste the it into an online form. Then with one button the whole lot will be processed in one go. Another way will allow you to upload the same offline-prepared information directly to the web site. Yet another way will allow you to email the trading information to an address from where it will get processed. We are still working on the ability to enter trades by cell phone, so that will be an additional way of getting your information into the system.

Debate: Ideas Exchange Launched

Earlier this year the Talent Exchange bulletin board was launched in the hope that it would provide a forum for members to discuss issues related to the Talent Exchange. While there has been some discussion going on, it has not been particularly successful. The main reason is that you have to be online to use it and for many people that is expensive. It is also relatively complicated to use and the latest comments are not seen immediately.

To get around the problems associated with the bulletin board we have now introduced the Ideas Exchange email discussion forum. This works purely by email and none of the discussion appears on the web site. To participate in the Ideas Exchange all you have to do is join up. This you can do from the home page of your account. When your name is added to the list, any item emailed by anyone also on the list gets distributed to the entire list. Responses also go to the entire list.

So if you want to be party to the great Talent Exchange debate, join up and send your comments to ideas-exchange[at]

Tip: How to Edit your Offerings

There are two ways to edit an offering:

Path: Offerings from the Horizontal Menu>>Select the Category which contains your offering(s)
Path: My Record on the Horizontal Menu>>My offerings under Personal Actions>>[View/Edit]

In both cases a list of offerings will display. In the first case your offerings will appear among all the offerings for that category; in the latter case your offerings will be grouped together. Your own offering titles will appear in green in the Offering column. This means they are clickable and editable. Click on the title in the Offering column and the Edit/Delete Offering form will appear. The form allows you to modify any of the details of your offering record, or delete it from the Offerings List.

Edit the Title or Details of the record; select a new category from the Category drop-down list; edit your Rate or modify your keywords. When done press the [Update Record] button.

Delete the record by pressing the [Delete Record] button. This will permanently remove the record from the Offerings List.

Theory: What About the Taxman?

A question that one is frequently asked when trying to convince potential new members of the virtues of the CES is "What about the taxman?". Often the response of the skeptical is "Wait until SARS hears about this!"

Well, what is our position on the question of tax? Here are some answers that you can give:

  1. The system is too small for the government to worry about it.
    It would cost the government more to recover what they might claim is due to them. In other countries where these kinds of systems are big, the official position is to ignore them, as often the people on such systems are those who might be on welfare.
  2. There are no Rands to recover because no Rands are involved.
    You could say that the CES is just a bunch of people doing favours for each other and therefore no Rands were generated. The government only accepts tax payments in legal tender. CES 'money' is not illegal tender; it is just not the kind of tender accepted by the government for the payment of taxes.
  3. People are already paying 'tax' in the form of a transaction levy.
    This 'tax' goes to the CES Administration, which you could say is the 'government' of the 'new economy'. Governments everywhere need to acknowledge that the days of the state monopoly in money are numbered. Starting with the computer revolution and the growth of the internet anyone can now create their own money and there is nothing any government can do about it.

    Perhaps there should be competition for the provision of services traditionally considered the preserve of the centralised state. That would make governments sit up and stop being so inefficient and wasteful. We hate it that Telkom is the sole telephony provider; why should there just be one provider for all the other 'state' services? How about a choice in governments, and economies too?

    The national government would also do well to learn from us a new way of tax collection. Conventional methods of tax collection are so inefficient, clumsy and expensive it costs all of us a lot in, well, more tax! The entire 'tax industry' would disappear overnight if taxes were collected as a transaction tax like our levies. Transaction taxes are very elegant. They are instantaneous, fair, open, transparent, progressive, efficient, automatic and simple enough for everyone to comprehend.

  4. We would love to pay tax and when/if ever we do then we will know that we have made it!
    However, the only way we will ever pay tax is if it is in Talents. The government will have to accept that there is more than one type of money and that they would benefit more from collecting tax in Talents than in Rands. The Talents they collect will have to be spent back into communities from which they were collected.

Administration: Local Area Co-ordinators

The following is the current list of CTTE Local Area Co-ordinators or 'branches' of the Cape Town Talent Exchange. If you have a problem accessing your account, do not have regular access to a computer or just hate the internet, then contact your nearest co-ordinator who will help you interface with the Talent Exchange. Co-ordinators will provide you with everything you need to participate, as well as enter your trades for you. We hope to 'recruit' co-ordinators in the sub-areas not listed below. If you would like to assist please write to the Administrator at the address at the bottom of this Newsletter.

# A/C # Name Sub-Area Suburb Tel (h) Tel (w) Cell E-mail
1 SANE0222 Marco Bezzoli Atlantic Greenpoint 021 447 8675 082 957 8819 marco.arch[at]
2 SANE0635 Lara Pietersen City Bowl V & A Waterfront     082 726 6957 lar[at]
3 SANE0349 Iain Macdonald City Bowl Gardens 021 462 6755 021 461 8880 072 327 2840 iain-intuition[at]
4 SANE0554 Occulus City Bowl Woodstock 082 900 7993 021 426 2707 082 900 7993 occulus[at]
5 SANE0564 James Baxendale Constantiaberg Constantia 021 794 4264 021 794 4264 082 903 3975 Bax1a[at]
6 SANE0432 Pat Oliver Constantiaberg Diep River 021 712 6362 021 712 6362 patoliver[at]
7 SANE0435 Dawn Pilatowicz Constantiaberg Marina da Gama 021 788 8357 021 788 1528 083 226 8250 dawn[at]
8 SANE0448 Jeremy & Jacqui Wakeford Hout Bay Hout Bay 021 790 8558 021 650 2982 083 414 7393 jwakeford[at]
9 SANE0485 Liza Johnson Northern Suburbs Durbanville 021 511 7181 072 234 9595 vrcptadm[at]
10 SANE0146 Angie Whitehead Northern Suburbs Parow 021 939 0467 021 937 1940 072 242 4334 awhitehead[at]
11 SANE0756 Ethel Seager Northern Suburbs Tygervalley 021 976 8176 083 701 1480 e.seager[at]
12 SANE0009 Karen Jordi South Peninsula Glencairn to Noordhoek 072 387 5661 jordik[at]
13 SANE0292 Elfi Tomlinson South Peninsula Kalk Bay 021 788 7842 021 788 7842 083 703 3878 elfitom[at]
14 SANE0127 Debbie Bub South Peninsula Kommetjie 021 785 4664 deb-bub[at]
15 SANE0010 Beau Horgan South Peninsula Noordhoek 021 789 2494 021 789 2494 beau[at]
16 SANE0098 Heidi-Jayne Hawkins South Peninsula Welcome Glen 021 650 2442 084 891 9139 hhawkins[at]
17 SANE0046 Vicky Richter Southern Suburbs Kenwyn 021 7612256 021 797 3660 073 168 4748 vicky[at]
18 SANE0481 Leroy Al Kata Southern Suburbs Marina da Gama 021 788 7033 0832187588 leroy_al[at]
19 SANE0035 Unwembi Southern Suburbs Newlands 021 683 4515 ces[at]
20 SANE0022 Len Stern Southern Suburbs Rondebosch 021 689 4239 lenstern[at]
21 SANE0002 Tim Jenkin Southern Suburbs Rosebank 021 685 4741 021 683 4515 083 354 9374 tim[at]
22 SANE0534 Kim Fourie Tableview Ysterplaat 021 510 5261 021 534 0460 083 993 4580 kim.fourie[at]


Talent Exchange User Guide

  • Do you wish you knew how to update and delete your offerings and wants?
  • Do you wish you knew how to delete an incorrect transaction that you have entered?
  • Do you wish you knew how to...?

All the answers are available right from your account on the CES web site.

Download the Talent Exchange User Guide. To do so, access your account on the CES web site at or go directly to and download one of the printable versions of the User Guide. You can also view the HTML version on the screen. If you would like to purchase a paper version (for Talents) look under 'CES Services' in the Offerings List to see who you can get it from. Your local area co-ordinator should also be able to provide you with a copy.