Community Exchange News

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


  1. Administration: General Meeting Planned for 19 March
  2. News: CES Logo Competition Extended
  3. Markets: Zandvlei Community Centre - 5 March 2005
  4. New Groups: Pietermaritzburg & Harare (Zimbabwe)
  5. Statistics: Growth of the Talent Exchange
  6. CTTE Group statistics: January 2005
  7. Web Site: New features
  8. Debate: Ideas Exchange
  9. Tip: Attracting Custom
  10. Theory: Are Talents Money?
  11. Administration: Local Area Co-ordinators

The Talent Exchange — where your wealth is your talent

Administration: General Meeting Planned for 19 March

For a long time now there has been a call for a general meeting to elect a new body to run the Talent Exchange. A steering committee was formed in November 2002 to get the Talent Exchange off the ground. They did an excellent job in getting it going and today we have a complementary currency system that is growing faster than any other of its kind in the world. Experts in complementary currencies the world over are watching what we are doing here and there have been many requests from other countries to make our software available for public use.

The original committee faded away after about a year and half because the Talent Exchange was able to run itself. Many of the functions that were performed by the original committee were taken on by members of the Exchange.

As the group has grown and the complexity of the issues has increased, there has arisen a need for a new body to run the affairs of the Talent Exchange. This new body needs to be very different from the original committee because what the Talent Exchange now needs is not a 'committee' as such but a 'governing body' comprised of number of functionaries with definite portfolios.

The Talent Exchange is not a club so it does not need a club-type constitution and a club-style committee. The Talent Exchange is a new money system, and as it grows it will increasingly be seen as a new economy. Every economy needs to be managed to ensure that it does not collapse and that it serves the needs of its members. In particular the Talents that are accruing through the transaction levy are not being spent. This revenue goes to the Administration account and to ensure that it is spent back into the community there needs to a body to draw up a budget and manage it.

For these reasons and others, a General Meeting will be held on Saturday 19 March 2005 at Rouwkoop House, Rondebosch, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Further details will be sent out shortly describing what it will be all about, the issues at hand and inviting discussion on the Ideas Exchange.

News: CES Logo Competition Extended

The final date for CES logo design submissions has been extended to the end of February 2005. During March you will be able to vote for your favourite logo designs and the winning design will become the official logo of the CES. The designer of the winning logo will be awarded T5,000.

As there are still a few more days before the end of the month, if you still want to submit a design please do so immediately. Submit all designs and queries to logos|at|

A number of new logo designs have been submitted, by members from several CES groups around the country. All of the submitted designs are viewable from a link off 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.

Remember, both when designing and choosing a logo, that 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. It must also remain recognisable when reduced to a small size and when it loses its colour (e.g. when faxed).

Winner receives: T5,000
Artist deadline: end Feb 2005
Voter deadline: end March 2005

Markets: Zandvlei Community Centre - 5 March 2005

In order to publicise the council's intention to commercialise the Zandvlei Community Centre (204 Main Rd, Muizenberg), CES member Softec-Innovations (NPO 031-335) is to host a high profile craft market and night time music & food & fun jol on 5 March. This will inform the public that a forum has been constituted to oppose privatisation and demonstrate that the ZCC is now properly utilised.

Traders are invited to sign up; musos, food stalls, performers & party people need to contact Christopher Immelman as soon as possible so that they can benefit from the ZCC's extensive advertising.

Contact Christopher Immelman |at| 073 1814 253 or market|at|

New Groups: Pietermaritzburg & Harare (Zimbabwe)

A new group has been created for Pietermaritzburg. While it has no members yet, it will begin to fill up in the coming months. We have found someone in Pietermaritzburg who is keen to get a group going there.

We are in negotiation with a group in Harare, Zimbabwe, who want to start a Talent Exchange group there. They would also like to extend it to other areas if it is successful. The national economy in Zim is in dire straits and the Talent Exchange is just what they need. But as not many people in Zimbabwe have computers, starting a group there is going to be a challenge. If we can get groups going in a place without a mass base of computerised users it will teach us many lessons for getting groups going in disadvantaged areas here.

Statistics: Growth of the Talent Exchange

There are now (19 February 2005) 1,533 members of the Talent Exchange nationwide. There are 15 separate groups. The Cape Town group is the largest with 1,017 members. The following table shows the growth of the Cape Town group. Although the Talent Exchange officially started in February 2003, the first members were signed up in December 2002.

Year Members Trades Talents
2002 10    
2003 368 1121 132589.10
2004 579 5204 624985.50

CTTE Group statistics: January 2005

December and January saw a slight downturn in trading but this was expected as many members were away on holiday during this period. February might also be down relative to the last months of 2004 but this will because there has been no market day this month.

The Cape Town group passed the 1,000 member mark in January. This does not mean that there are 1,000 active members in the group, just that 1,000 accounts have been created for individuals, families, organisations and companies since the start. We are hoping to pass the T1,000,000 traded mark soon.

At the end of January 2005:

Trader Statistics:

Total members: 999 Total traders: 586
% of members who have traded: 58.66 % of members who have not traded: 41.34
Total sellers: 335 Seller/buyer ratio: 0.62
% of members who have sold: 33.53 % of traders who have sold: 57.17
# of sellers who have bought 293 # of sellers who have not bought: 42
Total buyers: 544 Buyer/seller ratio: 1.62
% of members who have bought: 54.45 % of traders who have bought: 92.83
# of buyers who have sold: 293 # of buyers who have not sold: 251
Trading Statistics
Total # of sales: 6316 Total # of purchases: 6309
Total income: 795271.92 Total expenditure: 795271.52
Income/expenditure less levies: 758025.00 Overall balance: 0.00
Talentry Statistics
Total revenue: 37246.92 Transferred to Admin: 32848.04
# of levy payments: 3597 Current Talentry balance: 4398.88

Member statistics at the end of January 2005:

Individuals: 857
Families: 32
Companies: 58
Organisations: 35
Virtuals: 14
Public: 2
Administrators: 1
Total: 999

Trading statistics up to the end of January 2005:

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 706 96560.45 131.84 6962.18 611579.01 638155.65
December 2004 598 88035.59 141.99 6248.20 696490.50 729315.34
January 2004 422 63277.54 144.75 4386.88 757574.60 794786.32
Total: 6316 T794786.32 T125.84 T37211.72    
Excluding levy: T757574.60 T119.95  

Web Site: New features

The main addition since December is the ability to enter multiple trades. It is now possible to enter up to five sale records at one time. To access this feature go to the home page of your account and click on 2. Enter Multiple Transactions in the box at the middle top.

It operates slightly differently from the original single transaction entry page in that there is no drop down list of members. To use the multiple transaction form you need to have the account numbers of your buyers. You need to enter their full account numbers (e.g. SANE1234). After that it works pretty much the same as the single entry form although it is much faster as it does not need to load and reload the list of members. You may use the multiple transaction entry form to enter single trades too.

We are about to extend the multiple transactions form to accept up to twenty transactions at one time. There will also be another transaction form that will allow you to prepare your trades offline and then paste them all in one go. This will allow you to enter multiple trades without spending a long time online.

Offering Pictures

We are about to introduce a feature that will allow you to upload pictures of your offerings. There have already been a few offerings with photos and these do help to attract attention to what you have to offer. In the meantime, if you would like to add a picture to an offering please send it to ctte|at| The image will be reduced to a height of 100 pixels so make sure that it is recognisable at that size.

Debate: Ideas Exchange

The Ideas Exchange has now been operating for a couple of months and has proved to be a useful forum for discussing Talent Exchange matters. We are requesting members to use the Ideas Exchange to discuss matters relating to the forthcoming General Meeting so that the incoming body of functionaries will know what issues need to be tackled.

Please do not use the Ideas Exchange to draw further attention to your offerings or to make announcements. Use the Offerings and Announcements Lists for that. Please also be polite when making submissions to the Ideas Exchange. Try not to get personal and slag off other members. Keep the discussion to the subject and use it to promote the Talent Exchange, not undermine it. Remember, the Ideas Exchange is a national forum so if you write about a personal issue between you and another member then members in other groups around the country will get the impression that this is an Insults Exchange and not a community-building Talent Exchange!

If you have not yet joined the Ideas Exchange please do so. You can join from the home page of your account. Click on 'Join' at the top right. All you have to do is enter your name and email address. This information is held in confidence and will not be passed on to any third parties so as to increase your spam load! If you find the Ideas Exchange emails too overwhelming it is very easy to remove yourself from the list. Do so by going to the same place where you joined.

Tip: Attracting Custom

There are a number of ways of getting people to take notice of your offerings. Here are a few tips:

Theory: Are Talents Money?

Many people think of the Talent Exchange as a sort of barter club. They feel this way because there is no 'real', tangible money involved and for this reason think of trading in the Talent Exchange as barter.

Is trading in the Talent Exchange barter?

The answer is most definitely not!

Think about it. When you give someone a cheque in the Rand economy that cheque is not money. It is simply an instruction to the bank to debit your account and credit the seller's. This is all done electronically because your 'bank account' at the bank consists of nothing more than some numbers on a computer. It is not a pigeon hole filled with notes and coins, with bank clerks scurrying backwards and forwards moving cash between pigeon holes! No 'real', tangible money is involved, yet paying someone with a cheque is not thought of as barter.

The Talent Exchange works in exactly the same way. Your account on the Talent Exchange is also just numbers on a computer, and Trading Slips are the same as bank cheques: instructions to credit one account and debit another. The difference is that you don't have to take the Trading Slips that you have received to a bank; you can enter them yourself.

True barter always requires a coincidence of wants between trading parties, and in such a relationship both parties are both buyer and seller. Money was invented to overcome the barter limitation, that is, the problem of finding a coincidence of wants. Money allows multilateral trading. It is a mechanism or system (not necessarily a thing) that allows people to trade where there is not a coincidence of wants between buyer and seller. Trading in the Talent Exchange most definitely does not require a coincidence of wants. Buyers can get something from a seller without giving anything to the seller. The purchase is 'paid' for by the buyer selling or doing something to/for another member of the community.

You could say that trading with cash is a form of barter because money is then treated as a commodity that is directly exchanged for goods and services. There is a coincidence of wants: the shoemaker wants Rands and the buyer wants shoes. Strictly speaking this is not barter because a third element, cash, has been specifically introduced to ensure that there is always a coincidence of wants.

In a barter relationship when each side has got their goods the trade is complete. Where money is involved the trade is not complete until the buyer has delivered back to society the value of what he or she received from the seller. Money allows the buyer to deliver something of value, and hence pay off the 'debt', at a later time. This is absolutely true of the Talent Exchange. Your purchases are reflected as a debit in your account and you work off that debit (i.e. bring your account balance back to zero) by delivering something of value to another member at a later time.

More than ninety per cent of money in the conventional money system is not tangible; it is just numbers on computers. One hundred per cent of money in the Talent Exchange is numbers on computers. This makes conventional money and Talents very similar. We do not have cash because that results in the users of the money system treating money as a 'thing'. Although Rands are for the most part not a 'thing' either, in our minds and actions we treat it as a thing. Money in the Rand economy has to be created, the amount of it controlled and it has to be distributed. This creates all kinds of problems, most notably those arising from the fact that 'thing' money moves from the poor to the rich through the mechanism of usury. 'Thing' money can do this because if we treat it as a thing then those who have it can lend it to those who don't have it, and charge (interest) for having use of it. It is the same as hiring an electric drill from the hire shop.

Talents cannot be lent because they are not a thing and there is no supply of them. If someone wants something they just have to be sure that they can deliver something back to the community. They don't require a supply of 'thing' money.

In short, Talents are most definitely money (money doesn't have to be a thing) and trading in the Talent Exchange is most definitely not barter!

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 Green Point 021 447 8675 082 957 8819 marco.arch|at|
2 SANE0043 Raymond Mcinga Cape Flats Lost City 073 630 1403 raymond|at|
3 SANE0349 Iain Macdonald City Bowl Gardens 021 462 6755 021 461 8880 072 327 2840 iain-intuition|at|
4 SANE0635 Lara Pietersen City Bowl V&A Waterfront 082 726 6957 lar|at|
5 SANE0554 Occulus City Bowl Woodstock 082 900 7993 021 426 2707 082 900 7993 occulus|at|
6 SANE0564 James Baxendale Constantiaberg Constantia 021 794 4264 021 794 4264 082 903 3975 Bax1a|at|
7 SANE0432 Pat Oliver Constantiaberg Diep River 021 712 6362 021 712 6362 patoliver|at|
8 SANE0481 Leroy Al Kata Constantiaberg Marina da Gama 021 788 7033 083 218 7588 leroy_al|at|
9 SANE0435 Dawn Pilatowicz Constantiaberg Marina da Gama 021 788 8357 021 788 1528 083 226 8250 dawn|at|
10 SANE0485 Liza Johnson Durbanville Durbanville 072 234 9595 vrcptadm|at|
11 SANE0448 Jeremy & Jacqui Wakeford Hout Bay Hout Bay 021 790 8558 021 650 2982 083 414 7393 jwakeford|at|
12 SANE0146 Angie Whitehead Northern Suburbs Parow 021 939 0467 021 937 1940 072 242 4334 angie.whitehead|at|
13 SANE0756 Ethel Seager Northern Suburbs Tygervalley 021 976 8176 083 701 1480 e.seager|at|
14 SANE0009 Karen Jordi South Peninsula Glencairn to Noordhoek 072 387 5661 jordik|at|
15 SANE0292 Elfi Tomlinson South Peninsula Kalk Bay 021 788 7842 021 788 7842 083 703 3878 elfitom|at|
16 SANE0127 Debbie Bub South Peninsula Kommetjie 021 785 4664 deb-bub|at|
17 SANE0010 Beau Horgan South Peninsula Noordhoek 021 789 2494 021 789 2494 beau|at|
18 SANE0098 Heidi-Jayne Hawkins South Peninsula Welcome Glen 021 650 2442 084 951 5535 hhawkins|at|
19 SANE0046 Vicky Richter Southern Suburbs Kenwyn 021 761 2256 021 797 3660 073 168 4748 vicky|at|
20 SANE0035 Unwembi Southern Suburbs Newlands 021 683 4515 ces|at|
21 SANE0022 Len Stern Southern Suburbs Rondebosch 021 689 4239 lenstern|at|
22 SANE0002 Tim Jenkin Southern Suburbs Rosebank 021 685 4741 021 683 4515 083 354 9374 tim|at|
23 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.