President Jacob Zuma delivers the opening address at the ANC's 5th national policy conference taking place in Johannesburg. Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Johannesburg - The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Friday said the African National Congress (ANC) national policy conference (NPC) was a "watershed make or break moment".

In a statement, the ANC ally said the NPC must be used to forge unity within the party.

"Delegates going into the conference carry with them the responsibility to rise above factional interests, put South Africa and our communities first," said Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu.

"Arrogance and denialism, which have in recent times characterised debates about challenges facing the country, must be confronted if the organisation is to emerge stronger and united."

Mahlangu said the survival of the party was largely dependendent on cronyism and political elitism being done away with. 

"The NPC is a platform to reposition the ANC for the 2019 elections victory. If factionalism and self-interest gain the upper hand then multiple splits which we have warned about will weaken and ultimately destroy our glorious movement."

The policies developed at the NPC should also reflect the ANC's commitment to eliminate state capture and looting.

"Policies to be amended must respond adequately to the rising tide of corruption threatening to erode public confidence in governance institutions," said Mahlangu.

"SOEs are critical for the country’s economic recovery, drive its developmental agenda as well as implementation of the National Development Plan aimed at addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality."