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CAPE TOWN - The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Friday sent its condolences to families that lost three high school pupils who drowned while trying to rescue a fellow learner who was swept away in a flooded river in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the provincial department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nontethelelo Mcanyana, 18, Sinikiwe Mpanza, 17, and Zenande Gumede, 14, were coming from Ndlongolwane High School when the tragic incident occurred on Wednesday.

Sanco spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu said: “We urge authorities to relocate families that are living in low lying areas to avoid further loss of lives and to rollout relief efforts to those in distress."

Mahlangu said that Integrated  Development Plans (IDP’s) of municipalities must be reviewed to prioritise and respond to infrastructure needs of rural communities for them to have access to roads, including bridges that connect them to amenities such as schools, clinics, as well as economic opportunities.

He said that municipal expenditure must reflect the seriousness with which they are addressing the dire needs of communities.

"Top of the range mayoral vehicles are luxuries that our municipalities can do without because they are not contributing to the betterment of the lives of our people," he added.

Mahlangu said that elected public representatives were expected to be conservative when it comes to personal comforts.

African News Agency/ANA