Ongoing heavy rains resulted in three Eastern Cape primary school pupils drowning on Wednesday.
Yanga Solubambo and Aseza Mngcilo, both aged 13, from the OR Tambo Coastal District are believed to have drowned after they were swept away by currents at a nearby dam where they had gone to swim.
Solubambo attended Kwa Guqa Senior Primary School, while Mngcilo had gone to Pandaphantsi Senior Primary School in Bukazi village, in Flagstaff, Education MEC Mlungisi Mvoko said.
He said their bodies were later recovered by police divers who were called on scene.
An 11-year old girl, Asiphe Buso from Mzamo Primary School in Alfred Nzo West district was crossing a makeshift bridge when she was swept away.
Mvoko said while both incidents happened after school hours, the department has sent its social support services to traumatised pupils and educators at the different schools.
"We cannot overemphasise the importance of a life of any child, and losing a child is every parent's nightmare. I hope these families and parents will find solace in the Almighty during this period of grief in their lives", said Mvoko.
He urged the families to work with the department in ensuring that safety measures are always strictly observed.
Mvoko also stressed parents to take precautionary measures with their children during the ongoing rains which have resulted to dams and rivers being full.
"We appeal to parents to ensure consistent supervision of children especially what they do after school. Despite this, our prayers are with these families and we hope and pray that God comforts them in this trying time of their lives" he said.