Minibus taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was handed down an effective 20-year jail sentence in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.
Judge Robert Henney also cancelled his driver's licence with immediate effect, News24 reported.
The sentence drew a large gasp from friends and family in the gallery, with some bursting into tears.
Humphreys held a grave expression throughout the reading of the sentence, frowning deeply and pursing his lips.
In sentencing him, Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney said a non-custodial sentence would send out the wrong message, Eyewitness News reported.
Sobbing could be heard from the public gallery as the judge sentenced Humphreys to 12 years imprisonment on each of the 10 murder charges. The sentences will run concurrently.
On the four attempted murder charges, Humphreys was sentenced to six years each, but some of these will also run concurrently.
He was convicted of murder, following an accident on August 25, 2010 in Cape Town. While taking children to school, he overtook a row of cars at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks. A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the children he was taking to school. Four others were seriously injured.