Community Exchange News

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


  1. CTTE Christmas Market
  2. Virtual Rands
  3. Recycle and Share Your Surplus Goods
  4. ‘Hard Times’ Should Not Mean Reducing Your Use of Talents
  5. Little Green Gathering - South Africa 2012
  6. CES Growth Map
  7. Learning Afrikaans on the Talent Exchange - a user testimony
  8. Things to Do, Read and View
  9. Call for Articles

1. Cape Town Talent Exchange Christmas Market - 10 December

The Cape Town Talent Exchange Christmas Market, our last market of the year, will be taking place this Saturday, 10 December 2011, at the Oude Molen Eco Village.

Bring your friends, family and colleagues to get a taste of all the amazing things the Talent Exchange has to offer. Please come and share your 'talents' and take up a stall. If you have not yet experienced the wonderful spirit of a Talent market then make a special point of coming along to this one.

Bring something that someone else would like for Christmas and in turn get something that you would like. The Talent Exchange is about sharing and recycling.

If you are bringing someone who is not yet a member, they can join at the event and start trading immediately.

In particular we are looking for the following:

If you have not already booked a place you can still do so. There is stall fee of T30. Please write to, or phone John Holmes at 072 410 1498, and let him know what you will be selling and if you have any special requirements.

Don’t forget to print out and bring your own trading sheets. You can download it from here:

Time: 09:00 - 15:00
Venue: Oude Molen Eco Village (in the field next to the yellow house),
Directions: Oude Molen is in Alexandra Rd next to the Vincent Pallotti Hospital and opposite Pinelands railway station.
Costs: T30 per stall - please bring your own tables and chairs or sell from your car boot
Bookings: Contact John Holmes: or 072 410 1498

2. Virtual Rands

Have you tried the Virtual-Rand system yet? It is built into your Talent Exchange account so you don't need to do anything to activate it. It is an adjunct to the Talent side of your account and is designed, primarily, for those exchanges that involve part-settlement in Rands. It can, of course, be used in any way you wish.

A number of CTTE users have been using it for some time now, and will vouch for its usefulness and convenience. It gives them a whole new way of transacting with Rands, without actually using Rands.

You can either start using it by selling something to another user (this will credit your account in the same way as your Talent account) or by depositing Rands in the CTTE bank account. This will credit your Virtual-Rand account for the same amount, which you can then use to purchase goods and services from other users. Purchases will debit your account. You can carry on trading like this forever, with your account balance going up and down, on the basis of your original deposit.

You can redeem your Virtual Rands at any time if you require Rands in your hands.

What are the advantages?

Most importantly, if the banks do collapse as so many are predicting, your money - although no longer backed by real, redeemable Rands - will still retain their value within the community. That’s more than the regular banks can guarantee you!

Please try out your Virtual-Rand account. You have everything to gain!

3. Recycle and Share Your Surplus Goods!

Are you one of those who joined the Cape Town Talent Exchange some time ago, or even fairly recently, but have not yet traded? Are you one of those who are too scared to go into 'debt' before purchasing anything? Are you one of those waiting for someone to call on you for your services before you will go out there and buy something?

If this is you then there is one sure-fire way to get started...

...sell some goods!

Everyone has something to sell. Just look through your kitchen and take out all the implements and utensils that you haven’t used in ages. Open those top cupboards in your bedroom and drag out all the things you have completely forgotten about or you haven't used for years. Go to the garage and dig out all those dusty old tools and pots of paint that you have never used. If you've got an attic it's bound to be full of stuff that you don't even want to think about. And what about all those old toys and books that the kids never touch any more. Surely there must be old books and magazines on your shelves that you are never going to read again.

The Talent Exchange provides a really fabulous way of sharing and recycling your surplus goods and gifts. Even if you have received something from the Talent Exchange that you find you are not using, put it back into circulation and let it find someone who can make use of it.

Advertise your goods on the web site. It really is very easy to add new offerings. Just log in, click on the [Offerings] button at the top and then click on the [Add New] button. A form will come up where you type in the details of what you have to offer: a title, a description and the amount you are asking. You need to choose a category for the offering and a date when the offering should expire. If it is goods you are selling they will go fast, so choose a week or a month. You can also add a picture if you have one, but if you are not really au fait with computers then leave it out. After you've filled in the details click the [Add Offering] button and, hey, it's added to the Offerings List! All you have to do is sit back and wait for people to call.

So, if you haven't yet traded, or even if you have, start sharing all those surplus goods by getting them onto the Offerings List. There are hundreds of people who will snap up what you offer. Once you have some Talents in your account you will want to spend them and if everyone starts spending at a higher rate you will find that people will start coming to you for the services you offer. If you sit and wait for people to respond to the initial offerings you sent with your registration, nothing will happen and you will not benefit from all the amazing things the Talent Exchange has to offer.

4. ‘Hard Times’ Should Not Mean Reducing Your Use of Talents

When economic hard times begin to bite there is a tendency for users of the Talent Exchange to abandon it and concentrate on getting those desperately-needed Rands.

After all you can’t pay your rent with Talents, or the phone bill, the electricity bill, the rates, taxes, petrol...

Meddling with the Talent Exchange is fine when the times are good, for ‘financing’ those luxuries that one would normally never consider. But when the chips are down you need to forget the luxuries and concentrate on important things, like increasing the inflow of Rands.

This is a very short-sighted approach because when a recession bites it means there is less money around. Everyone is cutting back: paying off debts, curtailing spending, desperately trying to reduce costs. The whole system contracts and there is less for everyone.

If reducing your outflow of Rands to ensure there is sufficient for the essentials is your object, then the best way to achieve it is to use the Talent Exchange. This might seem paradoxical, but every time you make a Talent purchase you are not making a Rand one, thus saving your precious Rands.

This makes sense for buyers, but what about sellers? How can they be saving Rands if they have to spend Rands to provide stuff for sale in Talents? Best to just cut out the Talent Exchange and sell for Rands.

But who is buying for Rands? If everyone is cutting back they aren’t buying your stuff for Rands and so your sales are down. Sell for Talents and your Talent income increases, meaning you have greater access to things not requiring Rands, and hence saving your Rands for the essentials.

There can be no ‘recession’ in the Talent Exchange because there can never be ‘shortage’ of Talents. Quantity is not a property of Talents. To say there is a shortage of Talents is as absurd as saying there is a shortage of kilometres, and therefore we cannot travel!

The Talent Exchange is a ‘passive’ exchange system, in the sense that it simply records economic activity but does not require or promote it, as does debt-based money. The latter requires constant economic activity and growth because there is always more debt to pay back than there is money to pay it back with. This forces us to play a frenetic and futile game of musical chairs to ensure that we are not the ones left standing when the music stops.

The Talent Exchange in contrast, helps us create a world where we will be free to produce and trade peacefully with others in our community, and live off the full fruits of our own labour without having to work twice as hard to feed bureaucrats, usurers, landlords, and other parasitic rentiers as well as ourselves.

5. Little Green Gathering - South Africa 2012 - by Julan Briant

I am planning to organise a very eco-friendly, pedal-powered, compost-toileted, children-welcoming, talent-accepting event. It will be a permaculture-lush, vegetarian event with bands and DJs and workshops. There will be Saunas and Hot tubs and permaculture gardens...and an open mike Comet stage like at Rustlers circa 1996 (remember guys?).

The best of all the UK events I have been to, coupled with our stunning locations, great weather and awesome music = ECO PARADISE ♥

This event will cost R300 a head, children free and teens between 14 and 18 half price. There will be 200 tickets available for Talents and each trader will offer their food or wares for at least an hour each day for Talents.

Please send me details of any pedal power, compost toilet, solar power boffins from SA or UK. We also need yummy vegetarian cafés, saunas, hot tubs, an open-mike, pedal-power stage and informative and innovative workshops.

I am looking to recruit a few beings from the best UK + overseas events and want a collaboration of eco zupped-ups from all continents.

I also want to find brilliant, eager, young, up-and-coming bands who are willing to perform for expenses and tickets and have loads of fun. There will be lots of room for improvising and musical collaboration on the Comet pedal power stage.

I am currently seeking sponsorship and a partner to help organise and pay for the event with me. Also for experienced production crew, bands, eco boffins, DJs, workshop facilitators, healers, green traders and vegetarian food stalls.

Julan Briant (CTTE0367)

Facebook link:

6. CES Growth Map

Have a look at our new map showing the location of CES exchange groups around the world. It's beginning to look pretty impressive!

View map

7. Learning Afrikaans on the Talent Exchange - a user testimony

I’m an American student, visiting Cape Town for the third time this year. I try to soak up as much of this city as I can, and have assembled bits and pieces of Afrikaans from taxi rides, headlines of The Son, and elsewhere.

But a month ago, I could not string even the most basic sentence together, and felt bewildered by written Afrikaans. (I’ve studied Spanish and Latin, which have very different approaches to vowel sounds!)

The first request I posted to the Talent Exchange web site was for an Afrikaans teacher, and I was pleased to get several responses very quickly.

I’ve since had four hour-long lessons with a patient tutor who has helped demystify the basics. It’s been a great way to get to know another member of the Cape Town community, as well as to explore cafes around the city for cosy (and quiet!) places to practice.

Dankie, Talent Exchange!
Laura Eppinger

8. Things to Do, Read and View

If you would like to display something in this section please send your item to the editor at No ads about your offerings or wants; only items that would be of interest to your fellow Talent Exchangers!

9. Call for Articles

Can you write? Do you have something to say about the Talent Exchange, good or bad? Have you had an interesting experience in the Exchange? Any thoughts about the way forward?

Admin will 'pay' T2/word for every article that gets published in the Newsletter.

We really want to hear members' views, and so do others. So get out your pen or keyboard (or smartphone!) and put together an interesting article about the Exchange and we will publish it in the next Newsletter (if approved by the editor of course!).

Email your article to the editor at