"We have set aside two days to focus on organisational renewal. South Africa needs a strong, united and focused ANC, and we have a duty to ensure that we resolve all challenges that hinder the ANC from fully fulfilling its role as the leader of society," Zuma told business folk and the private sector on Thursday in Nasrec near Soweto.
He said the movement faced internal organisational challenges and that the ruling party is determined to resolve them.
More than five thousand ANC members and those from Cosatu and the South African Communist Party at expected to attend commission sessions to deliberate on discussion documents which include economic transformation, health, education and technology.
Zuma said while the ANC had sound policies the party had to use the conference to find mechanisms to accelerate their effective, say "that will be our main focus, to say how we can effectively implement our good policies".
He added the ANC wanted to become the political home for all South Africans.
"We are building an ANC that will be the political home of all who want to see better education, health care, housing, infrastructure, an end to crime and corruption, and the quest for a better Africa and a more equal world order," he said.
He said South Africa was a much better place to live in today tbecause of ANC policies and thanked all sectors for their contribution.
ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said the presidential gala dinner was a platform for businessman and women to continue supporting the ruling party.
"Tonight is about interacting with stakeholders who have supported us," Mkhize said. He wouldn't be drawn into revealing the cost of hosting the evening which he says took a few weeks to organise.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was not present as he was attending the funeral of late Botswana former President Ketumile Masire.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will chair a business breakfast while ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe will give an organisational diagnostic input.