Winner of ASP logo competition
Urny Mathiot, winner of the logo competition (Photo: Joena Meme)

ASP unveils new logo, launches website

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The Agency for Social Protection (ASP) unveiled its new logo and launched its new website yesterday afternoon.In the morning, the winner of a competition to design the agency’s new logo, Urny Mathiot, was presented with his prize while the rest of the participants were awarded certificates.

The ceremony to unveil the logo and launch the website was graced by the presence of President Wavel Ramkalawan; Vice-President Ahmed Afif; the Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, Patricia Francourt; the chief executive of ASP, Brenda Morin; and staff.In her address to the logo competition participants at the Carrefour des Arts, Ms Morin expressed her gratitude to them and added that the works has exceeded the agency’s expectations.She stated that their ideas and passion has helped the agency acquire a logo that better represents the agency.

Minister Francourt acknowledged the ten years of ASP and how it has benefitted many people in the country.She noted the logo needed to reflect safety, protection, aspiration and hope. Minister Francourt said that the logo reflects the aspect of volunteerism, the act of giving and not just receiving as the challenge to design the logo was voluntary.The winner of the logo competition, Mr Mathiot, expressed his joy and honour that ASP believed in his work and creativity.He explained that the logo is symbolic of the agency, different and more modern compared to the previous ones.He added that the parallel lines on the logo show unity and how we need to rely on each other.

The new logo consists of six diagonal brush strokes lightly wrapped by two horizontal strokes with two star bursts coming out of the centre. It was unveiled by President Ramkalawan at the office of the ASP at Ocean Gate House during the afternoon ceremony.The president had the opportunity to tour the agency and meet with the staff present, visiting offices such as finance, homecare, human resource, benefit and welfare as well as IT (systems support).

CEO Morin stated that the day is symbolic to the agency not only for marking the ten years of its existence but also signifies a new vision.“Ten years means the agency has matured but it is also an occasion to evaluate how far we have come towards the beneficiaries, partners and staff of the agency,” she said.She noted that they have evaluated their strong points, their weaknesses and how to address them.

She emphasised the importance of transparency, independence of individuals and their growth.Ms Morin stated that the real reason behind their re-branding is to offer a service with a difference so that the population understands the role and importance of the agency within our society.Ms Morin thanked Mr Mathiot for bringing out their vision through the new and modern logo.

President Ramkalawan in his address stated that there has been a lot of reflection in areas such as social welfare assistance with regard to who qualifies and how much they receive.He explained that these reflections bring about its own complications in light of people who are facing certain difficulties.He added that the constitution provides for the framework that the state must provide a ‘safety net’ to ensure that the people lives in dignity and not fall victim to poverty.

The president stated that the right to social security is taken in the context that once you reach a certain age (63 years old) it is a right to receive social security. However he announced that this is not what the constitution states, but makes provisions for a ‘safety net’. He added that one of the key questions the public in general must reflect on is whether a person for example, such as a president, gets around two thirds of his salary for his pension, should this person get the retirement benefit, does this person really need the ‘safety net’. He also posed the question of whether people getting a pension above R30,000 really need the retirement benefit. The president pondered whether the ‘safety net’ for those who do not really need it could be used to provide better support for the more vulnerable.

The president stressed that ASP must also review whether the income going in a family is sufficient, and if an individual can sustain their family on R7000.The president added that though many people are working, many are going through difficulties as tragedy can happen at any time. President Ramkalawan stressed that the challenge ahead of ASP is enormous and that together they will need to reflect on various subjects such as pension fund and social security.President Ramkalawan then continued with his tour of the ASP before Vice-President Ahmed Afif unveiled the new website

Ms Morin said the new website will bring many benefits to the agency whereby the public will be able to see statistics, download forms and interact with ASP directly regarding their concerns.

Marla Siméon