THERE is "total consensus" on the report on the African National Congress's policy document regarding a second transition, head of policy Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

The second transition is mooted in ANC policy document as a programme to correct economic imbalances in the country, now that political freedom has been attained.

On Wednesday, delegates to the party's national policy conference in Midrand had shot down the concept, which President Jacob Zuma has championed as a solution to poverty and unemployment.

Delegates said the concept was rejected by "virtually all the commissions" for being theoretically poor.

But on Thursday Mr Radebe told reporters: "All commissions have accepted the content and the thrust of the document as you know it."

However, he said, instead of calling the next stage of democracy the "second transition", it would now be called the "second phase of the transition", he said.

Mr Radebe said commissions at the conference agreed with the assessment that there had been success since the break from apartheid.

"There was broad agreement that we are in a transition from apartheid colonialism," he said. "The second phase of transition must be characterised by more radical policies and a renewal of the ANC and its alliance partners."

Rejection of the concept would have emboldened members and leaders campaigning to replace Mr Zuma at the party's elective conference in December.

On Thursday, Mr Radebe said there was no division between supporters of Mr Zuma and those of his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe.

"Let us clarify this so that we can take the elephant out of the room," he said. "There are no Zuma supporters or Kgalema supporters - people support the ANC."

Radebe denied that two groups of delegates that confronted each other on Thursday afternoon sang about their feelings about Mr Zuma, despite witness reports and video recordings of the stand-off.

One large group sang "uZuma, second transition" and "Bao ba sa batleng Zuma. Ba chechele morao. (Those who don't want Zuma should hold back)" in support of the president.

In response, a smaller group sang "Bayozabalaza (They will protest)", and chanted "Change, change".

With SAPA, SAM MKOKELI, SETUMO STONE and NATASHA MARRIAN