COSBOTS Members to Consider New Constitution

The constitution was reviewed in order for COSBOTS to conform with Botswana’s new company law regime and to meet requirements of CISAC at the global level


A special meeting to adopt a new constitution of COSBOTS has been called for February 29 in Mahalapye, The Botswana Gazette has established.

It emerged in an interview with the spokesperson of COSBOTS, Seeletso Lekgaba, that the general membership of COSBOTS had passed a resolution to amend the constitution of the company some time ago and that the royalty collections society is merely carrying out what creatives have resolved.

Lekgaba emphasised that the decision to amend the constitution of COSBOTS was made by its members as the highest decision making body (members) of the organisation and so COSBOTS was confident that creatives would welcome the amended constitution as a long overdue development.

“Though there is no obligation to keep the constitution up to date, there are certainly many benefits of doing so,” Lekgaba said. “This review is intended for removing inconsistencies with the current company law regime and to avoid doing anything unlawful. COSBOTS’s mandate is very narrow and therefore the amendment seeks to remove provisions that are no longer applicable to us by adding provisions to assist the smooth operation of our company.”

At this stage, the plan was to amend a significant part of the document but to adopt an entirely new constitution in the long run, she explained. By amending the constitution, the company would be taking advantage of the Act’s provisions about electronic communications by reinforcing them in order to facilitate communication via a website and the manner of delivery of notices and documents, she added.

Lekgaba explained the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) as an organisation that houses collective management organisations similar to COSBOTS around the globe. CISAC works to protect the rights and to promote the interests of creators across all regions of the world and aims to secure fair remuneration for creators for use of their works.

Lekgaba said COSBOTS had been trying to join this organisation for several years but had so far failed to qualify because of certain provisions in its constitution. “We are therefore compelled to amend these clauses to firstly enable COSBOTS to become a member of CISAC and to provide for COSBOTS’s receiving royalties for use of works of Batswana in the Diaspora, as well as for COSBOTS to pay for local use of foreign repertoire. Other clauses we intend to amend relate to composition of the board and quorums for AGMs and EGMs.”

However, Lekgaba explained that there is need to call a special meeting of members where the revised constitution in draft form shall be tabled for the approval of members. Such a meeting is scheduled for 29 February 2020 in Mahalapye. For the amended constitution to pass, 75% of the members in attendance must vote in favour of the draft.

“The Board of COSBOTS, as empowered by Section 106 subsection (1)(a), has called for a special meeting to consider the revised constitution which is at this stage in draft form,” Lekgaba said. “The necessary notices inviting members to attend this meeting have been sent to members and published in newspapers.”