Community currency pioneer talks to business owners

A PIONEER in establishing community currencies, Will Ruddick from Kenya, visited the Kokstad Business Network.

Ruddick received a warm welcome from network members and spoke to small business owners about the proposed Kokstad currency at the Kokstad community hall on Monday, saying that local currencies have been a great success in Kenya.

During his presentation a graph was shown indicating the structure of the local business market.

“The graph shows local businesses make money mostly in November­ and December, during the year there is very little money made so with this new currency we want a stable market where businesses will have money throughout the year,” Ruddick said.

Kokstad has been selected as one of two towns for a National Treasury-funded pilot project being conducted in conjunction with University of Cape Town to test this idea, which is already working successfully in many other parts of the world.

This currency will be equal to the South African rand in value. It will not take the place of the rand, instead it will work parallel with the rand.

Fostering Local Well-being ambassadors is helping with the implementation of the project.

Ruddick said that while the Kokstad money will work in services and businesses like hair salons, transport (taxis), crèches and sewing - locally produced products like bread, vetkoek, chicken and fruit are the fuel of the project as they will directly boost the local economy.

“Once the Kokstad Exchange Network is well established and strong, bigger businesses will be involved.”

The currency will be kept within the community as it will be used among local businesses in Kokstad.

The K-rand cannot be exchanged for South African rands because normal rands can be used in other places other than Kokstad, thus defeating the purpose of it benefiting the Kokstad local economy­.

The community will be invited to help decide on the name of the local­ money, some suggestions are K-rand, K-mali, K-money.

The launch of the project will on 18 July, 2018

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