The leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) will not be drawn into "street fights" over positions, the party's secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said in Johannesburg on Monday.
We are not going to get into that street fight," he said referring to reports that Mantashe was falling out of favour as secretary-general.
He said reports that the ANC Youth League was against him were "neither here nor there".
Mantashe watered down tensions within the ruling alliance between the ANC, the South African Communist Party (SACP)and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
He dismissed weekend reports indicating that President Jacob Zuma was called upon at the weekend national executive committee (NEC) meeting to intervene and call for unity or else the ANC would "implode".
Mantashe, in his reportback on the party's weekend lekgotla, said it had reaffirmed the position of the January 8 statement that the ANC as "the leader of the alliance and strategic centre of power must take responsibility for providing political direction to the alliance".
"The NEC will initiate a broad discussion on the history, law and current tasks of the alliance and its constituent past as a matter of urgency.
"We must manage the contradictions inherent to the alliance in a manner that builds the unity of purpose, understanding of distinct roles and programmes of each component," he said.
He also urged alliance members to conduct themselves in a "manner befitting revolutionaries" and called on them to respect each other's organisational integrity, enforce discipline, avoid public spats and labelling and resolve problems within bilateral and other alliance forums.
He said the booing of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and NEC member Billy Masetlha would be discussed in a bilateral meeting with the SACP.
The meeting would take place once the ANC's national working committee had seen the report from the ANC delegation who attended the conference.
ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said the report would determine how the ANC engaged their ally during the meeting.
Radebe said the focus of the NEC meeting was on how the ANC would work differently in future.
"The issue of performance measurement is one of the paramount approaches... what we are interested in is the implementation of ANC policies," he said.
Radebe reiterated that the relationship within the ruling alliance was strengthened after the Polokwane conference in 2007, adding that there was a need to cement the strong relations at provincial and local level.
The ANC's top brass also agreed with the January 8 statement on municipal employees holding leadership positions in political parties.
This was criticised by the South African Municipal Workers' Union last week who felt that the ANC was attempting to "de-politicise and de-unionise" municipalities.
The ANC's ten point plan to turn around local government which had been debated within the party since last year, would go to Cabinet and a local government summit in April for further discussion.
"Turnaround in itself is a process not an event," Mantashe said.
The ANC wanted to prevent a repeat of the 2009 service delivery protests around the country.
The NEC also agreed that the ANC, "as opposed to government" needed to come up with a mechanism to monitor and review the performance of its members deployed in government.
The outcome of the NEC lekgotla would guide a Cabinet lekgotla to take place next Wednesday and Zuma's State of the Nation address in February.
"In the words of ANC president comrade Jacob Zuma, '2010 is the year of action for effective service delivery to help people and there will be no room for cynicism, laziness, lamenting and incompetence'," Mantashe said.