The ANC's provincial chair and acting KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, used the podium at the party's 105th anniversary celebrations to say that the issue of land would be dealt with decisively and a "use it or lose it" policy was being considered.
President Jacob Zuma made a surprise appearance while Zikalala was delivering his keynote address in KwaDukuza, north of Durban.
The coastal hamlet was brought to a standstill with hundreds of busses ferrying supporters to the town's sports ground which was awash with yellow party regalia.
Zikalala said when it came to issues surrounding land, the party would be bold.
"Part of our plan during the conference will be to discuss ways of dealing with the land issue and the newly elected leaders will have to be bold and decisive," he said.
'Lawful land expropriation'
Zikalala also said they would be working on a "use it or lose it" policy to keep land owners in check.
"If you get back the land and you don't use it, you need to let it go so it can be given to people that will know how to use it to improve their lives and those of the communities."
Zuma said he was at the event to support the leadership in KwaZulu-Natal and reiterated the importance of economic development and the issue of land.
"Land expropriation will be done lawfully, we are not going to take back the land forcefully as it was done before," he said.
Zikalala, during his speech, also took a swipe at the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for their role in the loss of key municipalities to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in local government elections last year.
Dipping the microphone to boom his voice to the crowd, he levelled his sights on the EFF.
'We know how we will get them'
The DA took control of the Tshwane and Johannesburg municipalities after the EFF lent them their support, ousting the ANC from power.
"It is embarrassing how some people go around claiming that they want to improve the lives of the poor but turn around to support the oppressor in making sure that the poor remain poor.
"The DA never won City of Tshwane or the City of Johannesburg but they were given power by the EFF, the same people who claim to be fighting for the poor. We have seen how they work and we know how we will get them," Zikalala said.
"In December we will be having our 54th conference and we will use this opportunity to come up with a strategic plan on what are the qualities of the ideal cadre. This will also be an opportunity to create strategies on how we can develop the organisation and improve the lives of the poor."
Zikalala said that though the ANC had done well in the province, they still had a lot of work to do in fixing their mistakes and ensuring that they didn't get the same results as they did during the last elections.
"We are here to tell that we have heard your cries and we will do all that we can to ensure that we deliver on our promises."Suggest a correction