EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi raised a point of order at the Sona debate in parliament on Tuesday afternoon, telling speaker Baleka Mbete that something had to be done about the parliamentary air-conditioning as, according to him, it was “racist”.
“This air-con is racist,” he complained.
“I’ve been asking the table staff to reduce it. I’m sorry I have to address you about how racist this air-con is,” Ndlozi said.
“I agree with you it is cold,” was Mbete’s reply.
WATCH: Ndlozi accuses Parliament air conditioner of being racists pic.twitter.com/6Zt023TKsh
— SABC News Online (@SABCNewsOnline) February 12, 2019
Linking air-conditioning to race is a common joke in South Africa, where black people often complain that white people put the temperature much lower than their black counterparts.
When a light-hearted Facebook post calling on black South Africans to ask their white counterparts questions went viral, a Facebook user identified only as Cee Mac responded with an open letter asking white folks to “refrain from setting the air-conditioner”.
“Dear White People of Corporate South Africa.
Standard Room Temperature is 23°c.
Can you kindly refrain from setting the airconditioner to ‘uit die BLOW van onse hemel’
Black South Africans,” he wrote.
A debate about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second Sona was under way in parliament at the time of publication.
Speakers so far have included ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, who quoted scripture, and DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who told Ramaphosa that rather than him being in charge of the ANC, it was the ANC in charge of him.