PARLIAMENT’S portfolio committee on basic education says it's concerned after a second taxi carrying school pupils crashed this past week.
A case of reckless and negligent driving is being investigated by Sydenham police after a taxi ferrying 16 pre-primary school children rolled this morning in KZN.
This after at least 18 pupils died after their minibus taxi was involved in an accident near Bronkhorstspruit on Friday.
"This is the second incident in less than a week. South Africans cannot allow the lives of learners to be cheapened in this way," committee chairwoman Nomalungelo Gina said today.
"Children and the youth are our future. Learners have a right to education and also to safety. They cannot be maimed or injured whilst being transported to school. Greater care should be taken."
Gina said the committee will raise the matter of learner transport with the Department of Basic Education, although she is aware that learner transport is a provincial competence and in some provinces it can either fall under the mandate of the provincial education or transport departments.
She said they will work with the portfolio committee on transport on the matter.
Gina also bemoaned the loss of the 18 pupils in Bronkhorstspruit, some of whom had been burnt beyond recognition.
"This is indeed a tragedy. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of everyone involved during this difficult time."
She urged parents and communities to be vigilant by reporting unroadworthy and unsafe vehicles that are being used to transport school children.
The issue will be addressed when Parliament returns from recess in the first week of May.