THE theme for the 2016, State of the District Address was “Our District is Better Today Than It was Yesterday”.Mayor Nthombifikile Gumede, told everyone at the address on Monday that the theme gave a true reflection of the state of Ugu District.The address was held at the Port Shepstone Civic Centre where the six municipalities - Vulamehlo, Umdoni, Umzumbe, Hibiscus Coast, Ezinqolweni and Umuziwabantu - were discussed.“I stand here today to say with no fear of contradiction that Ugu District is better today than it was yesterday. We have indeed moved our district forward,” said Gumede.The municipality improved its audit opinion from a disclaimer in the 2012/13 financial year to a qualified audit opinion in the 2013/14 progressing to an unqualified audit in 2014/15 financial year. Council has approved a total budget of R1 333 146 991 with an allocation of R368 557 000 for capital and an allocation of R964 589 991 for the operational budget.A total of R233 873 000 was approved for the water and sanitation infrastructure programme, R18 750 428 for Ugu South Coast Tourism for 2015/2016 and R13 684 000 for Ugu South Coast Development Agency for the next financial year.Water projects include:•Umzumbe – Ndelu Water Project, Umhlabashane Water Reticulation and Mabheleni East Water Project•Hibiscus Coast – Stick Farm Water Supply, KwaXolo Bulk Water Supply, Umzimkhulu Off Channel Storage Dam, Umtamvuna Pump Station Upgrade, Murchison Water Projects, Gamalakhe Water Projects•Ezinqoleni – Ezinqoleni Bulk Water Supply with current upgrades to the KwaNyuswa Bulk Scheme.“In rapidly responding to the drought challenge that is upon us, an allocation of R233 873 000 will be used during the 2016/17 financial year to complete the Bhobhoyi Water Treatment Works upgrade and also commence with the Umtamvuna Water Treatment Works upgrade from 20ML per day to 40ML per day and the Mistake Farm Water Project.”With regard to job creation, the district has been able to facilitate 330 job opportunities directly from local economic development initiatives. All municipalities have consistently promoted programmes such as the mayoral bursary fund, donations of school uniforms and implementing fully equipped computer centres.More than 15 000 houses have been constructed in the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, 1 000 in Umzumbe and 3 000 in Ezinqolweni. A total of 95% of households have electricity in Ward 1 in Ezinqolweni and 448 in Umzumbe.“In closing ... the municipal managers and management of all local municipalities and the Ugu District Municipality, and I appreciate your hard work, dedication and commitment in ensuring that our municipalities in the district are positioned in a healthy stable position to be able to carry out their developmental mandate,” said Gumede.