Community Exchange News

Community Exchange News is the Newsletter of the Cape Town Talent Exchange


  1. CTTE: Inaugural General Meeting - 10 October
  2. Markets: Regular Oude Molen markets
  3. New Feature: Virtual-Rand trading facility
  4. Coming New Feature: "Buddy" system
  5. Proposed New Feature: CES "Savings Bank"
  6. CES for Businesses: Pie Squared
  7. Site: Recommendations

Unsubscribing: How to get off this list?

If you would like to unsubscribe from the Community Exchange News mailing list please do not write to the Admin and ask to be removed. You are in a position to determine what you receive and for how long you do or don't receive anything. Simply access your account and click on the [My Record] button at the top. In your personal profile you can tick which publications you don't want to receive.

Back issues

If you would like to read back issues of Community Exchange News, they are all on the web site at You will also find the Newsletters of other exchanges on the CES network in the same place.

The Talent Exchange — where your wealth is your talent

1. CTTE: Inaugural General Meeting - 10 October 2009

The Inaugural General Meeting of the Cape Town Talent Exchange will be held at the Community Hall, Oude Molen Eco Village, Alexander Road, Pinelands, (opposite Pinelands train station, next to Vincent Palotti hospital) on 10th October 2009, from 14:30 - 16:30. The IGM takes place after the market at the same place on the same day from 10:00 till 14:00.

The purpose of this meeting is to:

To become a subscribing member, join the group CTTE Subscribing Members on the website. Only subscribing members may vote for the CTTE board.

Once you have read the constitution, post your comments on the group's discussion forum. There are currently three discussions:

To prepare yourself, download and read the following documents:

The CTTE had a committee during the first year or two of its existence (2003-2004) but when the exchange reached critical mass the committee no longer served any useful purpose and the burden of carrying forward the CTTE fell on the shoulders of a handful of keen activists. Now things have gone around full circle and there is a need to draw in more energy so that the CTTE can move to a higher level.

2. Markets: Regular markets

The Cape Town Talent Exchange has got together with the Oude Molen Village Association (OMVA), a separate CES exchange in Cape Town, to promote regular Talent markets in Cape Town.

These markets will take place at the Oude Molen Eco Village in Pinelands. Not all sellers at the market will be Talent Exchangers so anyone selling at the market can sell either for Rands or for Talents.

Talent Exchange members selling for both Rands and Talents must indicate that they sell for Talents by displaying a "Talents Accepted Here" sign. You can download these from the site. Click on one of the images below to download the version of the poster you would like to use. You can of course also design your own poster:

The next market will be this Saturday, 3 October 9:00 - 14:00. The Craft in the Park market will be on at the same time alongside us, so this is a great opportunity to showcase the Talent Exchange.

Please book urgently with or phone the market organisers John or Helen on 021 447 9165 or 082 744 2504.

The following Saturday, 10 October - the day of our IGM - there will also be a market from 9:00 - 14:00 at the same venue.

Other Talent Exchange markets coming up:

To book for either of these markets please write to There will be a R30 stall fee for these markets (we have to pay for the venue in Rands).

3. New Feature: Virtual-Rand Trading

The Virtual-Rand feature has now been running for a couple of months and those who have been using it have found it tremendously useful.

The best way to discover its advantages is to use it. There is no way now that you can be worse off, and using the feature brings you a host of advantages (see below).

Since our last communication on this several things have changed:

What are the advantages? Below are listed again some of the key advantages of the Virtual Currency:

As soon as our cellphone interface for the Virtual-Rand feature is working you will be able to do instant trades with your mobile. You will also be able to look up your buyers' balance so that you can't be caught out.

4. Coming New Feature: 'Buddy System'

A 'buddy system' is soon to be implemented. A buddy is a CES user who gets a new user to register. When the new user is registered the 'introducer' or 'recommender' becomes the buddy of the new user and this is recorded on the system. Being a buddy comes with no obligations but buddies will be incentivised to teach their 'buds' how to use the system so that they can get up to speed as quickly as possible. Every time the new user sells something a portion of the transaction levy will be paid to the buddy. Thus the buddy will encourage the new user to sell so as to benefit from the sales. A user who introduces a lot of new users will become buddy to many and could earn a substantial income this way. The buddy system will hopefully encourage users to introduce many new users to the CES.

The levy payments to the buddy will not just be for introducing the new user (introduction fee) but will remain there for ever more. If this becomes a problem in that certain users begin to live off the income derived from their 'buds' without contributing anything themselves, then this can be reviewed.

By making the earning of 'buddy income' contingent on sales and not purchases, 'buds' are not encouraged to 'go into debt' (i.e. go negative into debit, buy instead of sell) but to produce and sell goods and services. The buddy system will thus encourage enterprise rather than consumption. Consumption will naturally follow if there is a good supply of goods and services. It should be a winner all round!

5. Proposed New Feature: CES "Savings Bank"

It is said that in times of economic stress like the present, gold is the best investment. Goldbugs tell us that throughout history the value of gold has remained stable and that traders will always and everywhere accept gold while fiat currencies inflate and collapse. While this might to a certain extent be true, it is all based on an illusion, and that illusion is that people believe that gold is valuable. When economies collapse those holding gold will find that you can't eat it and that in itself it is a pretty useless substance. Apart from that, gold mining is a terribly destructive and energy-consuming process. As we enter the era of peak oil and energy shortages it would be very shortsighted to continue devoting so much energy to digging this pretty useless metal out of the ground so that we can stick it back under the ground in vaults.

There is one thing upon which we can base our currencies that is and will always remain stable: time.

While time does seem to be going faster and faster, it is actually a constant. An hour now is the same as an hour a million years ago and the same as an hour a million years hence.

We can base our currencies on time and in fact there are already thousands of 'timebanks' around the world where people save and spend their hours. There are in fact 11 time-based CES exchanges, with more on the way. All of these can trade with non-timebased exchanges through the mechanism of conversion rates. Each time-based exchange has a conversion rate that is more or less equivalent to the average hourly rate of the country in which they are located. As the non-timebased exchanges are for the most part linked to the national currency, they are inflating in relation to the time-based exchanges. In other words, the average hourly rate is rising. To ensure that the time-based exchanges do not inflate, the conversion rate is periodically adjusted to reflect the rising hourly rate. For example if the average hourly rate charged by users of an official-money linked exchange is 20 credits/hour today, the conversion rate with a time-based exchange using 1 hour as its unit of account is 20 : 1. If the hourly rate rises to 40 credits/hour in ten years the conversion rate has to change to 40:1 (with periodic adjustments in between).

If the CES user 'saves' 2000 credits with a timebank today this will purchase 100 hours of time. This will still be 100 hours in ten years' time but if the credits had been 'saved' as credits on the local exchange instead of as hours they would still be worth 2000 credits in 10 years' time instead of 4000 credits if they had been 'saved' for the 10 years as hours. So investing in time is a hedge against inflation.

Our plan is to create time-based "savings banks" for the users of exchanges using currencies that have their unit of value based on the value of the national currency (e.g. the CTTE). Users will be able to 'save' their surplus credits as hours and then redeem them at a later time at the average hourly rate for the exchange, which will have inflated over the period that the hours were saved. This way users will be able to save their credits free from the ravages of inflation.

6. CES for Businesses: "Pie Squared"

One of the new CES company's projects is to try and involve businesses to help to grow the second economy. The name Pie2 comes from the traditional economic debate about whether it is better to have a system that gives everyone an equal slice of a small pie or one that gives unequal slices of a bigger pie.

How it works

Pie2 Association


7. Site: Recommenations

If you are impressed with someone's offering, be it goods (such as yummy food) or a service, give that member a boost by submitting a recommendation. If someone is impressed by what you provided them then ask them to give you a recommendation.

A recommendation is the best form of advertising you can get. Not only does the recommendation appear on the 'Recommendations List' for everyone to see, it also appears on your personal detail sheet.

To view the 'Recommendations List' click on '6. Recommendations' under the 'Buyer Actions' sub-heading on the start page of your account. To give a recommendation, click on the [Give Recommendation] button on this same page. To see if a member with whom you want to trade has any recommendations, click on the [Members] button at the top. Find the member using one of the various search functions on the Members page. Finally, click on the 'View Recommendations [Go]' button on the member's detail page. This will list all the recommendations received and given by the particular member.

CES 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 CES User Guide. To do so, log into your account on the CES web site at On the left hand side of your home page you will see the User Guide in various formats. Download either the PDF, OpenOffice or MS Word versions. You can also view the HTML version on the screen.