President Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity within the ANC during a Good Friday sermon at the Covenant Fellowship Church International in eSikhaleni in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ramaphosa, who had people talking on Friday morning after he was pictured flying in economy class on a Safair flight, said the ruling party was strongest when it was united.
"There must be unity and renewal of the African National Congress… Because it is when the ANC is united, that is when we are stronger and I know this church is praying and continues to pray for the unity of the African National Congress," he said.
Ramaphosa said there was no place for stealing and corruption within the party and that those who are caught doing so will be punished accordingly.
"The ANC must serve the people of South Africa. We must put our old ways behind us. Where there was corruption, we must say goodbye to corruption."
"Where there were people who were stealing the resources of our country, they must be dealt with severely," Ramaphosa said.
"The new dawn means things have to change. We are now going to work in a different way to change the lives of our people," he said.
Ramaphosa said "the new dawn" must mean there was a "renewed enthusiasm" for service delivery.
"The new dawn must mean we are going to address the issue of radical socio-economic transformation. We must change the structure our economy. The economy must return to the hands of our people," he said.
He said the government had implemented a new youth employment service to create jobs and the government will reposition state owned enterprises, including Eskom and Prasa.
Another one of the issues Ramaphosa addressed was the issue of land, after Parliament passed a motion to amend the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
"We are going to return the land to our people so that our people can have their birth right," he said, adding that it must be done "within the confines of the law".
Ramaphosa's address to the congregants at the Covenant Fellowship Church International followed on from former president Jacob Zuma addressing churchgoers at the eThekwini Community Church.
Zuma said even after resigning as president, people were still after him.
"Even now I have left, I'm not bothering anyone. But they are still after me," he said.