President Cyril Ramaphosa has lamented a horror bus crash that claimed at least 25 lives, mostly pensioners and pupils, near Centane Road in the Eastern Cape.
The bus was travelling on a gravel road near the Tafalofefe Hospital on Monday around 08:00 when it overturned, said Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Simon Zwane, earlier on Monday.
While the exact cause of the crash was not known, Zwane said the driver reportedly lost control of the bus.
Ramaphosa has directed Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula and the Eastern Cape provincial government to reach out to affected families and provide the necessary assistance as well as to establish what led to the incident.
The president offered condolences to the families of the dead and wished the 61 survivors a speedy recovery.
"This is a sad day for the people of the Eastern Cape and our nation at large. This tragedy leaves our country deeply saddened and forces us to focus yet again on the need for transport providers and other road users to exercise care and consideration on our roads.
"We must take care of one another as compatriots and, from this incident we see the need for us to be especially considerate towards elderly persons and children who depend on others to be conveyed around communities and the country.
"Safer roads begin with safer attitudes and behaviour. This tragedy is, sadly, yet another wake-up call to all of us to ensure that we arrive alive and those who are entrusted to our care arrive alive," Ramaphosa said.