The South African National Civic Organization (Sanco) has called for greater community education about the dangers posed by floodwater conditions as heavy rain inundated many parts of drought hit South Africa over the past few days.

Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu Sunday conveyed condolences to the families of a 26-year-old woman and a fire and rescue officer who were swept away by floodwater at a bridge at Kwaggafontein in Mpumalanga Province as the officer tried to rescue her from a trapped minibus on Saturday.

We appeal to road users to observe safe following distances, to drive with caution as they approach small bridges, and other flooded areas as the South African Weather Bureau predicts more rain for the next three months. With more rain, incidents of drowning may also increase, Mahlangu said.

Motorists driving in flooded areas should be aware that when the side of the body of a vehicle made contact with water the force increased rapidly while the water also acted on the underside of the vehicle and could sweep away the vehicle.

However, Sanco welcomed the rain as it was crucial for breaking the longest and most devastating drought experienced in South Africa in more than 100 years. The rains are important, especially in ensuring food security for the poor, but with it comes the dangers of flooding, especially in rural areas, Mahlangu said.

The lack of adequate infrastructure, including water drainage systems in rural villages, and proper roads and bridges, posed a threat to rural road users, he added.

Lack of sufficient knowledge on how to mitigate flood disaster in South Africa, especially among the disadvantaged communities, could spell a huge disaster to road users, learners crossing rivulets, and kids swimming in water ponds and flowing rivers, owing to lack of knowledge of flooding and its .. dangers.

Educating communities and continuous communication by authorities was crucial in keeping people out of danger, Mahlangu said.