MORE now than ever before the Ugu District Municipality is committed to ensuring that its communities in urban and rural areas of the district benefit equally from the municipality’s services and special programmes designed to develop communities.It is important that I, as the mayor of the Ugu district, pronounce my willingness to work with all stakeholders of our district in moving the district forward. This will enable us to find workable solutions for the diverse range of developmental challenges facing our district as we move towards our vision of creating a place where everyone benefits equally from socioeconomic opportunities and services.Over the past few years we have seen significant progress in the provision of services for our communities and I believe that an in-depth assessment of our achievements over the past term will reveal a remarkable record of success. We are still, as council, conscious of the enormous developmental challenges facing our district.I want to assure you that we are aware of issues that need to be addressed. We will continue to refurbish and replace our infrastructure networks and ensure that all residents have access to quality water and decent sanitation.We shall also redouble our efforts to improve the quality of interaction with residents and clients whether at the call centre, our social media pages or at our offices. We will do so in the spirit of Batho Pele and management and staff are aware they will be held accountable for the quality of their service delivery.In the second quarter of this financial year, we will be going to the communities under the mayoral izimbizos programme in pursuit of our residents’ service delivery expectations.This legislative exercise is part of our efforts to interact with our communities and enables us to measure our efficiency and effectiveness as community providers. We therefore urge communities to participate in these engagements because they aim to assist us in shaping our developmental agenda.We are now poised to move our district on a new developmental growth path. Our primary focus will remain firmly on human development and on improving the quality of lives of our people across all local municipalities in the district.We will continue to pay special attention to programmes that alleviate poverty, widen the net of our expanded social package, address issues related to child-headed households and ensure creation of employment opportunities for vulnerable groups.