ANC KwaZulu-Natal Chairman and Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala at the policy conference in Johannesburg. Picture Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal is not backing down on its demand for expropriation of land without compensation, African National Congress (ANC) chairman of that province, Sihle Zikalala, said at the weekend.

''People have been asking for their land back for many years now, and we thought we would address that and get land back through compensation, but that has failed,'' he said on Sunday. He was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing ANC policy conference held in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

''Therefore we are clear on our proposal - land expropriation without compensation, through working with other political parties, mainly those that are black dominated. Parties such as EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters], IFP [Inkatha Freedom Party] can add required percentage [to amend the Constitution] so that we return the land.''

But Zikalala's party had in February this year rejected the EFF offer of its six percent national vote in order to amend the Constitution and implement expropriation of land without compensation in a debate in Parliament. The governing party said the EFF's proposal was unconstitutional.

ANC MP Phumuzile Ngwenya-Mabila had argued that expropriation without compensation should be done ''for public purposes and in public interest and not for EFF's interest.''

Zikalala, who is also Economic Development MEC, said a referendum can be the last resort for government if no solution is reached on land.