THE African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal would use the party's policy conference next week to call for a national convention on economic transformation and should be attended by all key stakeholders, the party's provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said yesterday.

KwaZulu-Natal is the ruling party's biggest province in terms of signed up members. ANC discussion documents for next week's policy conference have called for urgent economic changes to address poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Mr Zikalala said at the conclusion of a two-day policy workshop in Durban yesterday that agreements reached at the proposed convention should be binding on all parties, "including the capitalist class", and the ANC should then embark on "radical" transformation.

Political analyst Protas Madlala said there was no doubt economic issues would be a focus at the policy conference, but he was sceptical about a convention of stakeholders, as these "tend to replace action".

Mr Zikalala said the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal did not want "classical nationalisation", but it supported intensified state influence in mining through taxation, royalties, a state mining company and acquisition of strategic assets. The proposed state company should be given preferences over private companies and over all aspects of the business such as for licences and land.

Mr Zikalala said the provincial party wanted the intelligentsia and middle classes to be mobilised, and not let them slip into the hands of the opposition, since they had knowledge required for transformation.

Mr Madlala said economic transformation so far had "made a mockery of democracy", was still a long way to go and the private sector was not yet fully on board.

Mr Zikalala said land redistribution should be accelerated and ANC resolutions that government should not sell prime land to foreigners should be adopted.

He said the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal also wanted the number of provinces to be rationalised.

On organisational renewal, he said the ANC in the province did not want to change the practice of drawing disciplinary committee members from the national executive committee (NEC).

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has previously proposed that the number of leaders on the ANC's NEC be reduced to 66 from 88. All ANC leaders who serve on committees should have been an ordinary member for at least five years, it suggested.

Mr Zikalala said the ANC in the province also wanted a ban on derogatory songs, slogans, T-shirts and heckling.

weste@bdfm.co.za