The United Democratic Movement expressed misgivings on Monday about President Jacob Zuma's "second transition".
"We see the African National Congress shifting the goal posts yet again," UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said in a statement.
"Is this 'second transition' Zuma Incorporated's attempt at designing yet another economic policy to be foisted on the nation?"
The City Press newspaper quoted ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe as saying the second transition referred to economic empowerment for the majority, just as the first transition meant political empowerment.
Earlier in June, Zuma opened the Northern Cape ANC provincial congress by encouraging delegates to discuss in detail the party's policy discussion documents, with an emphasis on the "second transition" document, the newspaper reported.
Holomisa questioned this.
"Who is at the helm of the second transition?... We must talk economics and education; and by 'we' the UDM means all stakeholders -- not only the ANC quasi-gurus of economics."
He said the problem was bigger than the ruling party and that presuming the elective conference was the place for such a debate was "arrogant and foolish".