The driver of a VW Kombi who was transporting children to school had to be arrested just after 7am this morning for driving under the influence of alcohol. File photo

Johannesburg - The minibus taxi driver who crashed into a tree on Monday morning while transporting 13 schoolchildren was drunk, said the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) in a statement.

"The driver of a VW Kombi who was transporting children to school had to be arrested just after 7am this morning for driving under the influence of alcohol, he lost control of the Kombi and collided with a tree at the intersection of Yield Road and Thulare Street, Meadowlands Soweto," said JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.

He said the children aged "around seven" were seriously injured and were taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

"The driver is likely to appear in the Meadowlands Magistrates Court today to face charges of drunken driving as well as for reckless and negligent driving," said Minnaar.