Jacob Zuma, R350 grant dominate 2021 Google searches in South Africa

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

Global search engine Google has revealed the top searches in South Africa in 2021 – and Jacob Zuma, the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant and Squid Game feature prominently.

The trending searches were published on Google Trends on Wednesday in various categories, including General, Local Personalities, Sports, How To (General) and Music & Movies.

Google top searches in 2021 in South Africa

In the General category, “SASSA status check” emerged as the most-searched term on Google in South Africa this year.

Millions of unemployed South Africans applied for the SRD grant when it was reinstated in August this year – and the search term reflected their interest in knowing whether or not their applications were successful.

“Euro 2020,” “Premier League” and “Shona Ferguson” followed at second, third and fourth positions respectively. Ferguson’s sudden passing in July sent shockwaves across the country.

“PSL” came in at fifth, “Pakistan vs South Africa” sixth, “election results” seventh and “Killer Kau” eighth. The late US rapper DMX and tennis tournament Wimbledon completed the top ten.

Local personalities

Given his imprisonment in July, it is probably not a surprise that Jacob Zuma topped Google searches in South Africa in the Local Personalities category.

Rapper Mpura came second following his death in August, while ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule was third following his suspension from the party after being charged for corruption.

The rest of the list is as follows:

  • Zola7
  • Prince Kaybee
  • Bishop Makamu
  • Percy Tau
  • Noxolo Grootboom
  • Carl Niehaus
  • Tatjana Schoenmaker

Soccer star Christian Eriksen topped the Global Personalities category following his collapse during a Euro 2020 match in June. Others include Alec Baldwin, Gabby Petito, The Weeknd and Pete Davidson.

Results in other categories are listed below:

How To (General)

  1. How to apply for R350 grant
  2. How to register for vaccine
  3. How to check matric results online
  4. How to register to vote online
  5. How to check Sassa balance
  6. How to tie a tie
  7. How to make money online in South Africa
  8. How to claim UIF online
  9. How to drink ivermectin for Covid
  10. How to apply for NSFAS


  1. Shona Ferguson
  2. Killer Kau
  3. DMX
  4. Jackson Mthembu
  5. Menzi Ngubane
  6. TB Joshua
  7. Prince Phillip
  8. FW de Klerk
  9. Noxolo Maqashalala
  10. King Zwelithini


  1. Euro 2020
  2. Premier League
  3. PSL
  4. Pakistan vs South Africa
  5. T20 World Cup
  6. Wimbledon
  7. La Liga
  8. Champions League
  9. IPL
  10. Man United vs Liverpool

Movies & TV Shows

  1. Squid Game
  2. Bridgerton
  3. Red Notice
  4. Black Widow
  5. Skeem Saam teasers
  6. Mortal Kombat
  7. Suicide Squad
  8. No Time to Die
  9. The Good Doctor
  10. Friends Reunion

Music searches

  1. DONDA
  2. Drake – Certified Lover Boy
  3. Adele – Easy On Me
  4. John Wick
  5. J. Cole new album
  6. Osama – Zakes Bantwini
  7. Amapiano songs
  8. Kabza De Small – Asibe Happy
  9. Cha Cha Slide
  10. Umsebenzi Wethu

What Is

  1. What is state of emergency
  2. What is covid 19
  3. What is human trafficking
  4. What is happening in Afghanistan
  5. What is ivermectin
  6. What is global warming
  7. What is substance abuse
  8. What is Squid Game
  9. What is Gender Based Violence
  10. What is happening in South Africa

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