MEC concerned by long distance pupils have to travel

Panyaza Lesufi says many learners have to travel long distances to access quality education.

A distressed Panyaza Lesufi exits the trauma ward where he has just seen four critically injured pupils. The pupils were injured on 03 February 2015, on the R101 where a taxi transporting over 20 school children overturned. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Wednesday said he's deeply concerned by the large number of South African children still having to travel long distances to access quality education.

He made the comments during a visit to pupils recovering at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria following a crash on the R101 on Tuesday.

Two pupils and their driver were killed when their taxi overturned in the Pyramid area.

Lesufi says it is unacceptable that pupils had to travel long distances daily just to access education.

The MEC says his department will now work to improve the quality of education in areas like Hammanskraal.

The taxi was transporting more than 20 schoolchildren.

Preliminary investigations show the driver may have attempted to overtake other cars when he hit two bridge pillars.

Meanwhile, the father of a 14-year-old boy who died in the crash on Tuesday said he was devastated.

Alfred Nkuna said he received a call from the police that his son was one of the two people who died in the collision.

"I got a call to come and identify the body and when we arrived, we found that it was Tshepiso. As a father, I am sad and weak."

He said identifying his son's body was traumatic.