President Jacob Zuma on Sunday said the youth and the ANC Youth League must lead the line in the fight to "get our land back".
Zuma, in a dialogue style, interacted with ANC supporters among hundreds who had attended an ANCYL 73rd anniversary celebration in Ezakheni, Ladysmith.
Supporters told him that they still needed land in order to achieve economic freedom.
"We need land to start our own businesses as young people. We should have our land back in order to start agricultural projects that will benefit us. If we get land, we would be able to supply shops such as Shoprite and Pick n Pay with fruits and vegetables," said a woman to Zuma.
"The youth should be vocal in the fight to get our land back. Land is not used while we're living in poverty," Zuma responded.
"There are plots of unused land which are owned by individuals who are living overseas."
'Freedom is incomplete'
The ANCYL should therefore lead the fight for economic freedom, Zuma said.
"The freedom we have now is incomplete. We have political freedom to vote but there are still challenges that government faces because economy-wise we are not free. That's why the youth of today should start the fire of radical socio-economic transformation."
When the ANCYL was formed in 1944 during the apartheid era, "it revived the ANC", he said.
"The formation of the Youth League took the political struggle to another level. They influenced the future and method of struggle. What will the youth of today do?" he asked.
He said the youth of yesteryear brought new ideas to the ANC which were used to gain freedom.
"They were helping the mother body, which is the ANC. They brought militancy in the ANC."
'Insane and confused'
He also criticised the "Old Boys Club" that controlled the mining industry.
Zuma said there were a few people who get billions in the mining industry because of the "lifetime contracts" they signed.
"We can't even come up with new laws to terminate contracts of those who have life contracts in the mining industry because of the country's justice system," he said.
He said they could easily change laws back in 1994 because they had a two thirds majority.
He blamed other political parties for not voting with the ANC to make new laws that will see blacks achieving economic freedom.
"They are insane and confused. They rather vote with the official opposition party. That's why the ANCYL should lead the fight for economic freedom," he said.
He advised that the Youth League should elect a leader that will be able to achieve radical economic transformation during the December elective conference.