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The Trader – a click away from the solution

Which problems have been identified and why?

In many circumstances and set events, it is reasonable to deduce that numerous problems arise from a single source. Theft, poverty, instability and all the associated problems to these have arisen chiefly due to a lack of financial stability. If all South Africans had a better understanding of personal expenses, price differences and the general economy, our country and our daily lives would improve dramatically. Some recent events that have arisen due to poor financial planning/understanding are: the Lonmin Mine strikes, Eskom’s rates/budgets, and the call for land without compensation.

Is R12 500 worth this?…


The game named, “The Trader”, is an attempt to get the ball rolling to help solve the above problems. It is a turn-based strategy game in which the player assumes the role of a “trader”. The object of the game is to trade as many “goods” as possible to pay off the bank by the end of the game and make a profit.

The Premise:

The player begins with R 10 000 borrowed from a bank. The player must pay off the amount and the interest in a set amount of turns. The set locations are Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The player uses the money to buy commodities “goods” to sell at a profit. Each “good” has different prices in the respective cities, allowing the player to sell at a profit. The player has 50 turns to get to R 1 000 000 or they lose the game.


At the beginning the player doesn’t have a lot of money and must trade “goods” such as “food”. As the game progresses more expensive “goods” such as “clothes”, “oil” and “gold” can be bought – in that order. To make the most money the player must take advantage of the fluctuations of the market: Depression (cheap prices), Stable (average prices) and Boom (expensive prices). Once a loan is paid-off further ones are available. At R 100 000, the player will use another bank which charges lower interest rates and gives bigger loans to the player.

How it works:

The layout is very basic, simple and user-friendly. Only numbers and words will appear on the screen. No pictures will be displayed. The image below is what the player will see.

The shaded green: Shows the player’s current status.

The shaded pink:

  • Shows the player’s current amount of “goods.”
  • The units are non-descriptive and non-specific, E.g. Food = 2 units. Clothes = 5 units etc.

The shaded yellow:

  • Shows the “action” buttons that are used to: obtain/pay loans, and to move to the next turn.
  • For bank, click on bank and the amount will automatically transfer.
  • The interest rate and loanable amount remain fixed throughout the game.shade
  • Is where most of the activity occurs.
  • Next to the title “city”, there is a drop down list to choose which city to trade in.
  • Each city will have different deals and rates.
  • Under the “to buy”/”for sale” list are the “goods” available to trade.
  • The quantity available and the price per unit will appear automatically. (The conversions must be very basic)
  • To trade a “good”, click the “good” and type the quantity and then accept.

The red dot under the city’s name indicates a depression, yellow is stable and green is a boom. (different in each city)

Why it will be beneficial to South Africans:

  1. The Trader is fun and consistently keeps the player entertained and it is suitable for all ages and demographics.
  2. The Trader is very simple and user-friendly.
  3. The Trader teaches people why prices vary and how it affects their money!
  4. The Trader builds a platform of understanding about banks, how loans work and how debt should be used and how to avoid them.

If all South Africans used and understood this game then perhaps the following can be achieved:

  • Less people would irresponsibly fall into debt.
  • Debt would be used for productive means.
  • More people would understand how to get better interest rates and improve their finances.
  • More people would save.
  • Can spark financial interest and further education.
  • There would be an increase in trade and commerce locally and nationally.
  • There would be more financial tolerance towards one another.


Poverty, crime and desperation arise when people don’t know how to live their life in a healthy and productive manner. This game is an attempt to help alleviate that stress. This game can be tomorrow’s solution for today’s problems.



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