Community Exchange News

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


  1. Administration: General Meeting 19 March
  2. CES Logo Competition: Vote for your Favourite Logos
  3. New Groups: Klein Karoo and Logan (Australia)
  4. Statistics: Growth of the Talent Exchange
  5. CTTE Group statistics: February 2005
  6. Web Site: New features
  7. Tip: Trading slips
  8. Theory: Levies
  9. Administration: Local Area Co-ordinators

The Talent Exchange — where your wealth is your talent

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Administration: General Meeting 19 March

Venue: Novalis Institute, Wynberg, Cape Town
Time: 10h00 to 13h00

The General Meeting of the Cape Town Talent Exchange produced the results needed at this stage in the development of the exchange. People put themselves forward for the management group, and for responsibility for specific tasks.

The ‘meeting' was run workshop style by Russell Bishop. The early stages allowed the twenty people present to get enough information about each other to allow for the appointment of the management group. A group of about seven was favoured. Eleven people put themselves forward. The materials for a secret ballot were available but agreement was reached that the group should comprise all eleven who came forward. A twelfth person who was not present had indicated before the meeting that she would be available to join the group. It was agreed that she should be part of the group.

The members of the management group are:

Tim Jenkin, Vanessa Witbooi-Johnstone, Dawn Pilatowicz, Gwen Currie, Ken Meek, Elfi Tomlinson, Beau Horgan, Ian Gilfillan, Helmar Rudolph, Aubrey Dampies, Châtelaine Tayler, Russell Bishop.

The group scheduled their first meeting for Monday 21st March.

The rest of the meeting was given to examining the actions needed in the exchange. A voting process showed which of these were seen as most urgent and important. People then put themselves forward to take responsibility for specific actions. They were interviewed for the ideas they have and about how they will achieve what they have planned. The information from the interviews was to be input to the process by which the management group would find the best people to take on all the actions.

CES Logo Competition: Vote for your Favourite Logos

Submissions for the CES logo competition are now closed. From now until the 18th of April you are invited to view the collection of logos and vote for your favourites. To vote, log in and from the home page of your account click on 'View and Vote for your favourite logos'. You will be presented with a page of thumbnails of the 118 submissions that were received. To vote, click as many of the checkboxes below the images as you like. Finally click on the [Submit] button at the bottom. Please be honest and vote only once! To view the full size images click on the thumbnails.

After the last date of voting the votes will be counted and the winner will be announced. The designer of the logo that received the most votes will be the winner and receive the T5,000 prize.

New Groups: Klein Karoo and Logan (Australia!)

A new group has been created for the Klein Karoo. This encompasses the areas around Ladismith. Again there are no members yet but two separate groups of farmers in the area have requested the creation of a new group. A meeting will be held on Sunday 27 March where people will be encouraged to join the local CES. There is much enthusiasm.

We have had many requests about our software from around the world. Recently we had a request from a group in Australia that was different from the others. They wanted to be part of the CES, not have our software. Although we are not yet in a position to trade internationally we decided that developing that capacity would be spurred on by taking on LoganLETS and letting them be part of the CES. LoganLETS is currently a conventional LETS group based in Logan, near Brisbane. They will be able to use the CES in exactly the same way as any other groups though it will be difficult to trade across the Indian Ocean until we have worked out an exchange rate between Talents and Possum Points (the name of their currency). We have already built in a bit of customisation for LoganLETS so that they can have their own logo, name, currency name and symbols.

Statistics: Growth of the Talent Exchange

There are now (23 March 2005) 1,673 members of the Talent Exchange nationwide. There are 18 separate groups. The Cape Town group is the largest with 1,053 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
2005 98 444 117119.48

CTTE Group statistics: February 2005

February saw a further downturn in trading. This was mainly because there was no market day during month. Now that we have a working management group there will be an increased injection of all those Talents that have been removed from circulation by the levies. We hope soon to see a dramatic upturn in trading as more members come on board, shops, depots and distribution points are opened, and more effort gets put into building the Exchange.

At the end of February 2005:

Trader Statistics:

Total members: 1025 Total traders: 599
% of members who have traded: 58.44 % of members who have not traded: 41.56
Total sellers: 350 Seller/buyer ratio: 0.63
% of members who have sold: 34.15 % of traders who have sold: 58.43
# of sellers who have bought 303 # of sellers who have not bought: 47
Total buyers: 552 Buyer/seller ratio: 1.58
% of members who have bought: 53.85 % of traders who have bought: 92.15
# of buyers who have sold: 303 # of buyers who have not sold: 249
Trading Statistics
Total # of sales: 6494 Total # of purchases: 6486
Total income: 848613.58 Total expenditure: 848613.18
Income/expenditure less levies: 807740.38 Overall balance: 0.00
Talentry Statistics (from 15 May)
Total revenue: 40873.20 Transferred to Admin: 37234.92
# of levy payments: 3774 Current Talentry balance: 3638.28

Member statistics at the end of February 2005:

Individuals: 877
Families: 32
Companies: 61
Organisations: 37
Virtuals: 15
Public: 2
Administrators: 1
Total: 1025

Trading statistics up to the end of February 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 2005 422 63277.54 144.75 4386.88 757574.60 794786.32
February 2005 178 51528.52 279.30 3626.28 807289.98 848127.98
Total: 6494 T848127.98 T130.60 T40838.00    
Excluding levy: T807289.98 T124.31  

Web Site: New features

Entering multiple sales

Offline sale preparation is the main new feature this month. No longer do you have to spend hours online to enter your sales. If you've sold 50 items at a market, for example, you do not have to be online the whole time you enter that transaction load.

A new feature '3. Paste Transaction Data' under the heading 'Seller Actions' on the home page of your account allows you to paste sale information that you have prepared offline. You can prepare your sale information in one go or keep a file that you update as you go along. Then you only need to paste that information once a week or once a month. If you are a regular trader this feature could save you much time online

When you access the feature you are presented with a blank box that is at first not very inviting, and perhaps a bit confusing because there is no template for inserting the different categories of information (buyer, amount, description). Once you get used to the interface, however, it will probably become your preferred mode of transaction entry as it works very fast.

To capture your sale data open a text editor such as Notepad (you can also use MS Word or any other word processor/text editor). Enter your sale information by typing the buyer's account number in the first line, the amount in the second line and a description of the sale in the third line, as in this example:

Bedside table

Each sale consists of three lines like this. You can enter as many of these three-line sales as you like, one below the other. Do not leave any blank lines. When you have finished typing them, highlight the lot with your mouse (or press Ctrl + A) and then select 'Copy' from the Edit menu (or press Ctrl + C). Then log into your account and click on '3. Paste Transaction Data' under 'Seller Actions' on the home page. Click in the 'Paste or type sale data' box and then go to the Edit menu at the top and click on paste (or just press Ctrl + V). This will paste your sale data into the box.

Next click on the [Submit] button. This will send your data to the server, which will respond with a confirmation page showing the sales as you have entered them. If you made a mistake in any particular sale triplet you will see 'No A/C' which means that there is no such account or some detail is wrong. Even if you do not see 'No A/C' make sure that the buyer names are really those to whom you sold something. If you left out a line everything from that point on will be shown as errors.

If you have made a mistake press the [Cancel] button and correct the error. When you are satisfied with your sale entries as shown on the confirmation page, press the [Confirm] button. This completes the operation and you will see that you have been credited for the sales if you check your statement of account.

This is a very useful way of entering regular sale information. For example, if you need to debit someone or a group of people at the beginning of each month (e.g. for subscriptions or rent) you could have the sale info saved in a file. All you would have to do is open the file, copy the data, paste it into the box and press [Submit]. This could be done within a matter of seconds and it would eliminate data entry errors.

The '2. Enter Multiple Transactions' feature has also been improved. You can now enter up to 20 transactions at one time. On opening the feature it defaults to 5 sales but if you wish to increase this to 10, 15 or 20 sales click on the 'Trades to enter' drop down menu to select the appropriate number of sales. This feature is obviously only useful if you have a permanent connection to the internet, as entering 20 sales can take quite a long time. If you have a modem connection to the internet use the offline data entry feature described above.

Tip: Trading Slips

Most people do not bother with Trading Slips and when someone does use one the seller who receives it is usually unaware that such "cute little cheques" exist.

Trading Slips are pretty much like conventional cheques, the only difference being that the 'payer' puts his or her name on it rather than the name of the 'payee'. This reflects the fundamental difference between Talents and conventional money. With conventional money we think of money as stuff that goes from the buyer to the seller. A cheque itself is not money; it is an instruction to the payer's bank to transfer money from the payer's account to the payee's account. As the cheque is received by the payee's bank it could also be seen as a demand from the payee's bank for money to be transferred from the payer's account to the payee's account. In reality it is neither of these because cheques are not cleared one by one but en masse by clearing houses and only the difference is transferred between banks after all the cheques have been cleared. Whatever the case, conventional money is seen as something that is 'transferred' from one account to another.

With Talents, however, nothing is transferred because there is nothing to transfer. Talent Exchange money is not 'thing' money, it is the settling or balancing of accounts by purely electronic means. The Talent Exchange 'bank' can be seen as a 'clearing house' where 'cheques' are instantaneously cleared, where accounts are immediately settled. The 'cheques' are what Talent Exchange sellers enter into the online forms of their accounts. When they type in the account number of the buyer, the amount and a description of the sale, and press the [Submit] button, that is the submission of an electronic 'cheque'. It is an instruction to the system to debit the buyer's account and credit the seller's account. Nothing is transferred in this scenario; it is just the numbers that are adjusted.

So what has this got to do with Trading Slips? Trading Slips are a physical representation of what is (going to be) typed into the online form. It is the paper equivalent of the electronic 'cheque'. As such they are an extra step that comes before the real 'cheque' that is typed into the computer. This makes them unnecessary in the sense that they are really only a paper carrier of the information that has to be typed into the computer. The same information can be carried in the brain of the seller.

While this is true, and in most cases a Trading Slip is not necessary, a Trading Slip is useful in that it is a physical record of the electronic 'cheque'. And as both parties (should) sign a Trading Slip they are legal documents that could be used in a court of law should there be a dispute. A Trading Slip, like a conventional cheque, consists of a main part and a counterfoil. The seller fills in both parts with the same information but signs only the main part which is handed to the seller. The counterfoil, which is kept by the buyer, is signed by the seller. Together these pieces of paper are a physical record that a trade has taken place and that the parties have agreed that their accounts can be adjusted (by the seller) to acknowledge that the seller has delivered something to the buyer. By signing, both parties are acknowledging to each other that they are satisfied with the sale.

The Trading Sheets that sellers use at markets can also be seen as Trading Slips. The difference being that these sheets consist of a lot of separate Slips all joined together. They are a record of sales which the seller will enter into his or her computer to settle accounts with the buyers. The Trading Sheets are an invaluable record of what happened at the market and should be kept in case there is a dispute or disagreement later on.

As we attempt to make the Talent Exchange user-friendly for those without computers, Trading Slips and Trading Sheets will become increasingly useful. Already there are people using Trading Slips as their primary mode of conveying trading information. These are mostly people living in areas where there is a dearth of computers. With our new transaction data pasting feature (see above) it is now possible for someone to capture the Trading Slip information using a text editor or word processor. The information from the Slips can be typed into a file and then copied and pasted into the computer once a week or once a month. This will prevent users who can ill afford it from being online for a long period of time.

So, please get into the habit of using paper Trading Slips and rely less on mental Trading Slips. That is the way to avoid slips! You should be able to get Trading Slips from your Local Area Co-ordinator (see below) or from someone advertising them on the Offerings List. You can of course make your own. They are available in a variety of formats from the web site. Access your account and click on 'Trading Documents' on the home page. You can print out blank Trading Slips or personalised ones. Each page contains four Trading Slips so print out or copy a whole lot of pages. You can either cut out Trading Slips as you need them or cut out the lot and bind them into a neat 'cheque book'.

Theory: Levies

Call the levy a 'tax', a 'service fee', a 'membership fee', a 'usage fee' or whatever, it is an essential part of the Talent Exchange and will increasingly become essential to the very working of the system. Several people have called for the termination of the levy and others have called for a reduction in the rate. These are responses to the large positive balance of the CTTE Administration. If the levies are just going into a dead end then what purpose do they serve? The huge positive balance of the Admin is just a collecting pot of Talents withdrawn from circulation.

While these objections are understandable, the levy was implemented in the first place because it was considered unreasonable to expect members running the system to do everything voluntarily. It was realised at the time that the Talent Exchange would come adrift if people were expected to maintain and promote the system for the pure love of it. If members could be paid for what they did then they would likely continue to do what was required of them. Unfortunately the original steering committee dispersed shortly after the introduction of the levy and so there was no collective body to make decisions about how it was to dispensed.

Now that we have a new management group with definite portfolios, the Directors in charge of the portfolios will need Talents to perform their duties. In a sense, they will be running 'departments' with a mandate to perform specific tasks. The revenue to run these 'departments' can only come from the Admin account, which is in a sense the CTTE 'treasury'. In time the Administration will have to develop a budget to ensure that the group revenue is fairly allocated to the various 'departments'.

While the current balance of the Administration account is large, there is no doubt that it will soon begin to diminish. The monthly revenue acquired through the levies is not large but is a function of the amount of trading. For this reason it is in everyone's interest to see the amount of trading increase, for this will not only give the 'departments' a greater revenue, all expenditure will be an injection of Talents into the system.

The Admin receives 8% of each transaction, but for you as a seller or a buyer your contribution is but 4%. Remember that this is all you pay as 'tax' in the Talent Exchange as opposed to 14% VAT you pay in the Rand economy. And that is apart from the income and other taxes you pay, which can be up to half of your total income! In the Talent Exchange the rate of 'tax' can only diminish. It is 'high' at 8% but that is because the Talent Exchange is still relatively small. Imagine if state revenue was acquired through a similar transaction levy. At a rate of a fraction of one per cent the state would derive more revenue than it currently does through every form of taxation that it currently employs. Not only is a transaction levy efficient and immediate, it is also progressive and fair.

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 SANE0481 Leroy Al Kata Constantiaberg Marina da Gama 021 788 7033 083 218 7588 leroy_al\at\
8 SANE0435 Dawn Pilatowicz Constantiaberg Marina da Gama 021 788 8357 021 788 1528 083 226 8250 dawn\at\
9 SANE0485 Liza Johnson Durbanville Durbanville 072 234 9595 vrcptadm\at\
10 SANE0448 Jeremy & Jacqui Wakeford Hout Bay Hout Bay 021 790 8558 021 650 2982 083 414 7393 jwakeford\at\
11 SANE0146 Angie Whitehead Northern Suburbs Parow 021 939 0467 021 937 1940 072 242 4334 angie.whitehead\at\
12 SANE0756 Ethel Seager Northern Suburbs Tygervalley 021 976 8176 083 701 1480 e.seager\at\
13 SANE0009 Karen Jordi South Peninsula Glencairn to Noordhoek 072 387 5661 jordik\at\
14 SANE0292 Elfi Tomlinson South Peninsula Kalk Bay 021 788 7842 021 788 7842 083 703 3878 elfitom\at\
15 SANE0127 Debbie Bub South Peninsula Kommetjie 021 785 4664 deb-bub\at\
16 SANE0010 Beau Horgan South Peninsula Noordhoek 021 789 2494 021 789 2494 beau\at\
17 SANE0098 Heidi-Jayne Hawkins South Peninsula Welcome Glen 021 650 2442 084 951 5535 hhawkins\at\
18 SANE0046 Vicky Richter Southern Suburbs Kenwyn 021 761 2256 021 797 3660 073 168 4748 vicky\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.