Johannesburg: At least 16 school children were killed died Friday when a minibus collided with a truck along a South African highway around 300 kilometres north of Durban, a regional government said.
The provincial KwaZulu-Natal transport ministry reported 16 deaths from the collision.
Local media reported a toll of 19 children - aged between five and 12 years - plus three adults.
"The death of so many young lives is a serious tragedy," regional transport minister Sipho Hlomuka said in a statement.
The accident occurred in the Pongola area, near the border with Eswatini.
South Africa's roads are among the most developed on the continent, but safety remains an issue with most accidents blamed on reckless driving.