Young people must be given a platform in the mainstream economy so they can play a meaningful role in society, deputy ANCYL leader Ronald Lamola said on Thursday.
"The solutions to economic challenges... [is] in the minds of young people, who are idling in the townships," Lamola said at an ANCYL policy dialogue in Pretoria.
"If young people are leaders of society... why are they outside the mainstream of economy?" he asked.
Lamola was giving a political overview at an African National Congress Youth League dialogue on "economic freedom in our lifetime" at the University of SA (Unisa).
He said maximum participation in the economy was class-based.
"It only allows a particular class to participate in the mainstream economy," he said.
Lamola said it was because of this that Section 25 of the Constitution, which relates to property ownership, needed to be amended.
There needed to be expropriation of land without compensation, and the nationalisation of mines.
He said nothing had changed since 1994, the first time a government was elected democratically in South Africa.
"We need to break the apartheid economy we received in 1994.
"White people are still living a Hollywood lifestyle," said Lamola.
The majority of black South Africans were relying on social grants. They needed to start playing a meaningful role in agriculture, mining and society.
Lamola said the "willing buyer, willing seller" approach to land restitution was not working. He said the land was taken and people were enslaved so that others could make a profit.
"They had cheap labour... that made them profit, why must we compensate them? The only solution is expropriation without compensation," said Lamola.
He said the youth needed to lead South Africa and take charge.
"South Africa will only be united through the economy."