COSBOTS pays out P7.3m in latest distribution

  • Foreign artists still take a lion’s share
  • COSBOTS wants a return to BOTS50 levels


The country’s only royalty collections organisation, the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), made collections amounting to P 7.3 million for Distribution 14 royalty payout and paid out P3 428 127 to local and international artists, Time Out has established.
“This latest distribution is a million more (than) Distribution 13,” the CEO of COSBOTS, Letlhogonolo Makwinja, said in an interview.
An analysis of the distribution shows that a lion’s share amounting to P2 134 348 70, which is 69.2 percent of the distributable amount, was paid out to foreign artists while only P950 965 60 or 30.8 percent was paid out to the local artists.
From the total of P950 965 60, P782 514 34 was paid to local members of COSBOTS, P168 451 26 was paid to local works that were unmatched while P342 812 70 was allocated to the Social and Cultural Fund that was established three years ago.
Said Makwinja: “Once again, we are still seeing a lot of money taken out of the country. The board has been engaging with the government and relevant stakeholders to find a solution because it is a worrying factor. During BOT50, we saw 90 percent of local music being played.
“We want to reach those milestones again as a permanent resolution that will improve the lives of our creatives. But we should also be cognizant of the fact that these radio stations are private businesses that survive solely on advertising. We need to strike a balance.”
The distribution brief also shows that state media RB1, RB2 and Btv had 31 percent of local airplay while the international content claimed 69 percent. The top paid artist is an unnamed international act who bagged P43 500 while the top paid local artist was at number five slot with P15 000 in royalty payout.
COSBOTS also paid out relief funds of P1000 to each of its 2000 members. The board released P1 million from the Social and Cultural Fund to aid artists who continue to face challenges as a result of the industry shutdown due to COVID-19. The board released an extra P2 million to be added to Distribution 14 to increase the net distributable income to P 7.3 million.
“As the industry opens up and artists are now finally able to trade, albeit at a slower rate than before the COVID-19 pandemic, the board felt compelled yet again to lend a helping hand,” said the Chairperson of the COSBOTS Board, Bakalanga Mahoko.