Kim Harrisberg profile background image
Kim Harrisberg profile image

Kim Harrisberg

South Africa correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Kim Harrisberg is the Southern Africa correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Johannesburg covering technology’s impact on society, as well as climate change and inequality on the continent. Before joining the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Kim was a multimedia journalist with South Africa’s oldest health news agency.

November 22, 2023

Right-wing libertarian Javier Milei won Argentina's landmark election on Sunday as he tapped into voter anger with the political mainstream - including rival Sergio Massa's dominant Peronist party, with both sides turning to AI during the fractious election campaign.

In the final weeks of campaigning, Milei published a fabricated image depicting Massa as an old-fashioned communist in military garb, while Massa's team distributed AI-generated images portraying Milei and his team as enraged zombies and pirates.

November 09, 2023

Every day, Sabrina Walter answers 50 to 150 messages on her social media channels from South African women who have survived abuse but need help to get justice, get safe or get back on their feet. With little support in real life, they have turned to the virtual world.

Walter is the founder of non-profit Women For Change (WFC), which has grown from having a few hundred followers online when it was created in 2016 to reaching over 10 million people per month across its Facebook, X, TikTok and Instagram pages in 2023.

October 23, 2023

The Liesbeek River snakes down from Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain for just 9 km (5 miles), but nevertheless has become the focus of a battle between retail giant Amazon, Indigenous groups, green activists and land claimants.

Land is an extremely emotive issue in South Africa. Nearly 400 years of Dutch and British colonial rule and four decades of apartheid saw waves of land grabs and mass evictions of Black, Indian and mixed-race people to create white-only areas.

October 20, 2023

Voice actor Armando Plata does not recall promoting a shopping mall in Bogota, narrating a porn movie or advertizing a big bank. Yet his voice comes over loud and clear: schmoozing, sighing and selling with neither permission nor payment.

It was the mild, robotic twang - rather than worry over any memory lapse - that alerted Plata to the fact his voice had been quietly cloned via artificial intelligence, robbing the veteran actor of his key asset, artistic choice and vocal rights.

October 06, 2023

Philanthropists are stepping in to ensure vulnerable workers and their communities are not left behind when developing nations agree multi-billion-dollar climate deals to shutter fossil-fuel power plants and ramp up green energy investments.

Last year, Vietnam and Indonesia joined South Africa in clinching a "just energy transition partnership" (JETP) - a funding package from wealthy governments and banks to help emerging economies phase out coal while creating green jobs - followed by Senegal this June.

October 02, 2023

After six years of working on a vineyard just outside Cape Town, South African farmworker Diana Ndleleni collapsed between the grapevines grown to make wines renowned throughout the world.

Her doctor said she had permanent lung damage that he believed was from years of inhaling pesticides sprayed on the grapes. He said she would not be able to work again.

September 27, 2023

Africa has become a hotspot for surveillance technology exports from countries including the U.S., Britain, China, Israel as well as the European Union, according to new research published this week.

Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Malawi and Zambia spend more than $1bn every year on surveillance technology, estimates a report by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the African Digital Rights Network (ADRN).

September 25, 2023

Cleaners, couriers and cabbies from around the world are creating new apps to better balance their gig work with the chores of motherhood and marriage, skirting sexist algorithms that penalise women who put home before work.

From Brazil to South Africa, female gig workers are on a mission to design, build and own their own apps to counter what they see as entrenched sexism on existing job platforms.

September 06, 2023

At Africa's first-ever climate summit in Nairobi this week, government and U.N. leaders sought to promote the continent as a source of solutions to the world's global warming challenge, rooted in its rich natural resources from sunshine to forests.

But they identified one big snag: a lack of finance to turn that potential into the reality of a green and fair transition.

August 30, 2023

When 46-year-old data collector Mfanzile Msibi and his team started mapping slums more than a decade ago near Johannesburg, they realised that tens of thousands of slum dwellers were unaccounted for in government records.

The local Ekurhuleni government, a city east of Johannesburg, had recognised 102 slum settlements in 2009, but the Informal Settlement Network (ISN), a South African social movement, found that over a dozen communities were missing from records.