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Loadshedding leads Google searches

“Loadshedding” garnered more than 200 000 Google searches on Wednesday as Eskom reintroduced level-two electricity power cuts for the first time in over six months.  

The Western Cape led the searches among the provinces, while the top five places from which the searches originated were located in the Western Cape. Related searches included dates, followed by “loadshedding” and “loadshedding today”,  as South Africans prepared for their day.

“Loadshedding stage 2” also featured as a strong related search, as South Africans tried to determine what stage 2 meant for their area. Below is a live-updating graph of the load shedding searches.

South Africans also generated more than 50,000 search queries for “Fiona Viotti” on Sunday, an additional 50,000 search queries for “Bishops teacher” on Monday, and 20,000 search queries for “Fiona Viotti Videos” on Thursday.

Viotti, who generated more than 120,000 combined Google searches this week, was thrust into the spotlight on Sunday when news allegations of serious misconduct were brought against her for an alleged a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old matric pupil at Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch. By Thursday week, explicit pictures and videos allegedly featuring the teacher circulated on social media and were reportedly uploaded on to a popular adult entertainment website.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, more than 20,000 search queries were generated for “Multichoice” on Tuesday as a reported fire broke out at the Randburg offices of the satellite TV company, forcing staff to evacuate.

Another 20,000 search queries were generated on Saturday for “Eliud Kipchoge”, the Kenyan athlete who became the first person to complete a marathon in under 2 hours.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Live Google search trends data is available at

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