Riaan Cruywagen is a South African television news reader and voice artist who has been associated with the South African Broadcasting Corporation since its first television broadcasts in 1975.
In June 2003, following an outcry over reports that Cruywagen's contract with the SABC would not be renewed, an agreement between the SABC and UASA (United Association of South Africa) was reached. His contract was renewed, and it was announced that he would continue with his duties for a period of time.
In the mid-2000s, following the contract renewal issue, Cruywagen was once more the focus of popular culture in South Africa for a time, when a number of e-mail and internet jokes originally referring to Chuck Norris and David Hasselhoff were modified by using his name in their place.
South African-themed jokes in a similar vein were also circulated, mostly related to his perennially youthful appearance and intellectual prowess.
Cruywagen was also a voice artist for the character "Haas Das" on the popular Afrikaans children's news program "Haas Das se Nuuskas". There has been mention of a possible return of this show to the television screen after a lengthy absence.
The South African band "Zinkplaat" recorded a song titled "Waar is Riaan?" (where is Riaan?), referring to the presenter's absence from the news team during the contract renewal issue.
Cruywagen has appeared in a number of films, playing himself as a newsreader, including an appearance reading the news in Zulu in Leon Schuster's "Sweet 'n Short". He was also seen in Stander as a nostalgic reminder of his long career as newsreader.
He was one of the featured celebrities on the first season of the South African version of the genealogy documentary series Who Do You Think You Are? (based on the British series of the same name), which premiered on SABC2 in May 2009.
He retired from the SABC in November 2012 and will be joining kykNET's breakfast show Dagbreek from Monday, 4 February 2013.