Screen Africa is saddened to hear about the death of South African broadcast
media industry stalwart, Ronnie van Wijk.
In a career spanning 39 years, Van Wijk was a founding member of Electronic
Media Network (M-Net / MultiChoice) and was the owner of Global Access
Telecommunications Pty Ltd, a private multimedia digital signage and television
broadcasting company supplying media services to the private and public sectors
in South Africa.
Andy Stead of Screen Africa writes:
“Ronnie’s death on Saturday 18 January after a relatively short illness was
unexpected and to be honest, unfair. He had so much life to live, and so soon
after his beloved wife Carol’s passing – sad in the extreme.
I first met Ronnie at the SABC in 1978 where at that stage he was the
“acceptance’ official for any video tape material for broadcast from an outside
source. Ronnie, in his characteristically professional and thorough manner
lectured me on small errors but nevertheless passed the material.
Thus began a friendship that spanned some 35 years and covered Ronnie’s
move to the fledgling M-Net as their technical supremo where he remained for
many years – and then after a stint at ZSEtv / Sasani, to the acquisition of Global
Not only were we work colleagues but we also shared a passion for flight, and
indeed an aircraft based at Rand Airport together with his son Ryan. This is how
I will always remember Ronnie. His passion for business, correctness and flight.
Many were the times we flew together. He taught me a lot. He inspired me. He
will always be remembered.
Go well old fiend…’
Amelia Thiart, Head of Television Broadcasting at Global Access, writes:
“As a visionary, Ronnie van Wijk dedicated his life to improving and driving change in the broadcast industry of South Africa.
As an original founder of M-Net in 1987, his leadership skills powered the company to becoming the leading commercial broadcaster in Africa.
Global Access was the next place where Ronnie’s innovative spirit helped grow the company to becoming the leading corporate broadcaster in Africa.
Not only as a father to these two giants, he also was a father to his family, and he is remembered by his children, grandchildren and extended family.
Ronnie will also be dearly missed by his colleagues, fellow business leaders and many other friends.
His passion for broadcast, his passion for planes, and passion for people has left an indelible mark on us all.