The ANC adopted one of its key policy documents on strategy and tactics at its national conference in Mangaung on Wednesday.
The document focuses on the ANC's "second phase of the transition" — which noted that the party had to enter a second phase of democracy.
The first phase was over the past 18 years, during which the focus was on political emancipation.
"Over the next decade or so the second phase of transition... will have much more decisive policies," commission member Febe Potgieter-Gqubule told reporters in Bloemfontein.
"In our next phase we need to have national consensus."
After 18 years of democracy there were still some fundamental fault lines in society, she said.
The needs of the poor had to be placed at the top of the national agenda.
"How do we improve our health system, provide social security, improve social services and basic services and so forth," Potgieter-Gqubule said.
"How do we move forward to make sure we have progress?"
These issues needed to be addressed so that the ANC did not come back in 10 or 20 years with the same problems.
About 13 commissions discussed the document on strategy and tactics at the national conference.
Potgieter-Gqubule said 200 to 300 people participated in each commission.