Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for Education in Gauteng. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - The Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday, urged parents to be careful when selecting drivers and transport to take their children to school.

On Monday, 12 children were injured after their school transport hit a tree in Meadowlands in Soweto, and it was discovered that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

"It is disturbing to note that the alleged driver was allegedly speeding and under the influence of alcohol," Lesufi said. 

"It is important for parents to be careful when employing drivers and transport that would be taking their children to school."

Lesufi said that he was pleased that the law enforcement agencies swiftly arrested the driver and wished the children a speedy recovery.

The Gauteng Department of Education(GDE) spokesperson Steve Mabona said that they were saddened by the incident. 

"Of the seven who were taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, two were attended and discharged immediately, five remain in hospital, two of which are in a critical condition and three are stable. The four  that were sent to Lilian Ngoyi were discharged and the one at Tshepo Themba is in a critical condition with head injuries."

Mabona said the department had arranged a team of officials to assist those affected with psychological support following the incident.

"We wish to indicate that we will continue to monitor the condition of the learners, we thank the department of health and everyone who assisted the learners at the hospitals," he said.