JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has started his main opening address at the ANC's National Policy Conference in Midrand, Johannesburg.
He welcomed some 3, 500 delegates attending the gathering.
When the president got up to give his speech, delegates started singing but it was nowhere near the reaction he used to get when he walked into a room several years ago.
He moved on to start the business of the conference.
Zuma spoke about tendencies that could damage the ruling party.
The party, its allies and business people are expected to debate the second transition which has received much criticism within the party.
The ANC president has said the first transition was to rid the country of apartheid laws and the second will aim to tackle the high unemployment and poverty rates.
Meanwhile, the Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says the “second transition” is filled with contradictions.
The trade union says the document is "littered with denialism" about the damage neo-liberalism had caused to the country since its emancipation from apartheid and colonialism.
The conference ends on 29 June.
(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)