Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has reiterated that nationalisation is not government policy.
In his response to the State of the Nation debate on Tuesday, Zuma said the party had noted that political formations, including the ruling party's Youth League, had decided to debate the matter.
But, he said as far as government and the ruling party were concerned, this was just a debate and "not government policy".
"If Julius Malema raises it - then debate the views of Malema. Debate the views of Malema - but don't confuse the debate raised as being the policy of government," he said.
The President said a long and democratic process was undertaken before policy was made.
"On matters of policy the ANC is very clear ... and those in the ANC know the process I am talking about - they are party to it, " he quipped.
Zuma said government could not stop political formations from deciding to open a debate on this topic or any other. But their views should not be confused with policy.
African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema has been pushing for mines to be put in the State's hands. And more recently, a debate was opened on the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.