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Here’s What South Africans Searched For On Google

Google announced the results of its 2019 Year in Search. The results offer a unique perspective on the year’s major moments and top trends based on searches conducted in South Africa.

Nine of the 10 top trending search terms were for local people, news and events. And that’s a good thing. The top questions list reflects this strongly – with eight of the top ten questions related to local happenings.

Rugby World Cup (RWC) made a definite dent on the Google Trend searches this year, as did load shedding, elections and James Small. According to Google, we used search to find out about the things that really “matter the most” to us.

Top trending South African searches

Load shedding

There’s not really much to say about load shedding, lest we burst out in tears. March was a terrible month, then October as well. December took a turn for the worse when we casually rolled into Stage 6 for the first time.

It raised concerns about what would happen if ever reach Stage 8. From Eskom’s fake news fiasco and the “wet coal” dilemma to the Kwagga substation, it search has been an interesting ride, to say the least. Stuck in the dark? Here are a few ideas.

Election results

We survived the 2019 South African Elections and citizens took to Google with their pressing questions. “Who won the Gauteng Elections” was one of the top search queries.

“How many votes did BLF get?” and “How many votes for a seat?” were just some of the post-polls election-related trending questions on Google over the past 2 days.

Thanos

A search of ‘Thanos’, followed by clicking on the gauntlet, wiped out half of Google search results. Just like Thanos turned half the universe to dust with a snap of his fingers.

IEC

Back in May, the IEC also detailed just how much effort has gone into getting South Africa ready for its sixth round of democratic elections. Of course, double votes made headlines as well.

The country’s 22 924 voting stations was abuzz with activity, and the IEC pitched 1 059 tents in areas where no permanent structures were available.

IEC in figures:

  • 60m ballot papers
  • 26.7m registered voters
  • 189 000 IEC officials
  • 56 225 stationary packs
  • 76 political parties
  • 14 hours to vote

Fiona Viotti

When the news of Fiona Viotti’s alleged sexual misconduct was made public in October, a storm of morbid curiosity engulfed Bishops’ College in Cape Town.

An investigation revealed that Viotti had engaged in sexual misconduct “with at leasxt five diferent students” during a period from 2013 to 2019. Viotti was admitted to psychiatric clinic

Black Friday Specials

November is mostly assocated with Black Friday. The day has its origins in America but Black Friday Fever was alive and well in South Africa. FNB predicted that we would collectively spend about R3 billion.

Despite the commotion of South Africans stampeding into stores, 2019 saw a smorgasbord of really great deals, from supermarkets to online stores, there was everything from tech and travel to satisfy everyone’s needs.

Gavin Watson

TheSouthAfrican.com’s Tom Head wrote that the death of Gavin Watson was always going to have the potential to spark a myriad of conspiracy theories.

Needless to say, Watson was one of the top searches on Google this year, especially after his family was caught up in a bizarre auction row. Read more about Watson

Mark Batchelor

Soccer fans across Mzansi were left in shock late on Monday night, after former Bafana Bafana player Marc Batchelor was gunned down and killed in Olivedale, Gauteng.

Police were on the hunt for two suspects, believed to have pulled up next to a set of traffic lights on motorcycles opened fire through the driver’s side window.

Teacher’s Day

The search term ‘Teacher’s Day’ garnered more than 200 000 search queries over the past weekend as the UN commemorated the role of teachers around the globe.

Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi won $1m in the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize back in March, and encouraged South African teachers on 7 October to apply for the 2020 round.

Hoërskoel Driehoek

A walkway at Hoërskoel Driehoek collapsed in February, taking the lives of several students. A dedicated team of emergency crews and local building teams had to secure the building.

Driehoek officials have issued a statement about the collapse, confirming that it was a bridge that gave way on Friday morning. They’ve also advised parents and guardians to avoid the area and refrain from calling the school.

“A structure / bridge has collapsed this morning. All relevant emergency services are on the scene. Please do not call the school as it will overload the phone system. Also, please avoid the area. Bystanders, pedestrians and vehicles interfered with the work of emergency services”

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Written by AN

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