Cape Town - EFF leader Julius Malema on Friday told Cape Town heads of industry that land expropriation without compensation was needed in South Africa.
"The state must take a deliberate decision to nationalise the land and redistribute it for equal use [for everybody]," Malema told members of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) over dinner at the Cape Sun hotel.
Malema was sparring with economic futurologist Clem Sunter in a two round debate called "The rumble in the urban jungle".
Executive Director of the CCCI Sid Peimer opened the bout saying that it was essential for business to come to terms with different future scenarios and how it would affect business opportunities and job creation.
Malema said the willing buyer-willing seller model initiated by the ANC-led government was flawed.
"If people want to buy the land and there is no willing seller we will never own a piece of land ... it does not matter how much money we have," he said.
"The economy is the land, the economy is the mines and resources, there is no food without the land."
According to Malema there was a need for the expropriation of land without compensation to address South Africa's increasing inequality gap.
He sketched a future scenario in which legislation would be passed in Parliament indicating that the state was the owner of the land and "the land shall be allocated to people who have indicated what they want to do with the land" and a decision made on whether that was in the public interest.
The main thrust of Sunter's argument was the development and promotion of entrepreneurship in South Africa.
He said a million new businesses were needed to create five million jobs.
According to Sunter the high level of mechanisation in the modern economy has removed a high level of jobs out of the system and the employment model has changed resulting in high levels of contract labour.
Sunter proposed that every big business should have 20% of its supply chain devoted to nurturing the new generation of small businesses.
"We should identify in every township economy the top 1000 entrepreneurs and advise them on how to extend their business into the mainstream economy... we have to focus on small businesses," he said.