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Calls for unity at ANC conference

President Jacob Zuma will open the ANC’s policy seminar on Tuesday and its allies have called for unity.

"Banner welcoming delegates to the ANC National Policy Conference 2012 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MIDRAND - President Jacob Zuma will formally open the ANC's national policy conference on Tuesday, and the party's allies want the gathering to unify the party.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) say it is essential members debate and agree on a policy package that will benefit all South Africans.

More than 3, 000 delegates, made up of branch delegates, national executive committee members, the ANC leagues, its alliance partners and business people, will debate the country's future this week at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The unemployment rate of 25 percent, government's proposed youth wage subsidy, infrastructure development and national health insurance are some of the issues expected to be discussed.

Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi made no bones about what he wants from the gathering.

He said policy debates should lead to a "radical programme" that will help government transform society.

While SACP General Secretary Jeremy Cronin said he wanted an end to divisions. "[We want] an ANC that comes out unified around a policy package that focuses on addressing the big challenges of our society."

Speaking at the ANC's Free State elective conference on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma said delegates must discuss policy and nothing else this week.

There has been great focus on the succession debate in the public sphere recently, but this will not be discussed over the next four days.

However, Zuma's ability to lead the organisation will be observed ahead of the ruling party's national elective conference in December.

This week's policy conference ends on Friday.