The African National Congress needs to get bold on the state's role in the economy, its secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Friday.
"If we have a weak resolution on the economy it would be flying in the face of what is intended in the second transition document, which is the second phase of our transition," he said in an interview on SAFM.
"Then we will go strong... which means taking bold actions. [The] time has arrived for us to do something new and get in, [take] the plunge, take a decision, take a risk."
The ANC policy conference in Midrand accepted a proposal on Thursday on a "second transition" for correcting economic imbalances after renaming it "the second phase of the transition".
The conference ends on Friday with an address by Zuma.
Mantashe told SAFM the ANC had a long history of appreciating the importance of a balanced, mixed economy.
"We don't give markets a free hand. We believe that the markets must have their role, but the state must [also] play a role," he said.
"In this day and age, after this [economic] crisis, we are all convinced that the state must be more firm and provide the leadership in the economy."
Mantashe said the state had the capacity to provide the leadership needed.
"Skills are never bought in any shop. You develop skills. You cannot develop skills unless you are involved," he said.
Mantashe said the ANC would read all the documents from the policy conference together, for them to be finalised at the 53rd ANC national conference in Mangaung, in the Free State, in December.
If adopted, the policies will form the basis for the ANC government's policies, new laws or amended laws.
On Friday, the commissions will report back on their discussions on gender, state intervention in the minerals sector, economic transformation, peace and stability, education and health, legislature and governance and land reform.
Asked about the ANC's policy conference, political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi of the Helen Suzman Foundation told SAFM there had been many good decisions reported in the media briefings.
"I think the main challenge facing the ANC is that of aligning what it says... with state capacity, and its own capacity as a ruling party to deliver what it promises."