"The question of economic growth remains a priority we will focus on," Zuma told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
Zuma is seen as frontrunner to succeed President Thabo Mbeki in 2009. His strong ties to labour unions and Communists has fuelled investor fears that he might alter the centrist policies credited with support the country's boom.
Zuma identified poverty, unemployment and narrowing the gap between rich and poor as major problems for the government to tackle, but said he was not diverging from current policies of the ruling ANC.
"No individual can change the policy of the ANC ... The policy will remain the same," he said during an interview in his hotel suite.
Zuma praised Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni, but would not say whether they would keep their posts under a new government.
"They've done a wonderful job ... They've been very good," he said. "When we come to the general election in 2009, naturally after the election we will see what the new cabinet looks like."
"These two have done very well, extremely well in the portfolios they have been operating. I've got confidence in them and they've worked very well."
Mbeki, who has governed the country since taking over from Nelson Mandela in 1999, lost control of the ANC last month when delegates overwhelmingly chose Zuma as the party's new leader.
The constitution prohibits Mbeki from running for a third term next year and Zuma, who does not have a formal position in the government, is expected to succeed him because of the ANC's electoral dominance.
Zuma said both Mandela and Mbeki came to power with support from the unions and communists. "There is nothing new that Jacob Zuma has been supported by these (backers) now."
Speculation has been growing that the ANC, now controlled by pro-Zuma officials, would pressure Mbeki to bring ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe into the cabinet, possibly replacing Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
"It is not a matter which has been put formally for discussion," Zuma said. "That does not mean it cannot happen. But it has not been put on the table to discuss."
The 65-year-old Zuma is due to go on trial in August for money-laundering, racketeering, fraud and corruption and has said he would stand down if convicted.
But he said he was "absolutely confident" that he would successfully defend himself against the charges.
Asked if he believed the charges were politically motivated, he said: "I've got my suspicions about the manner in which things were done, but I'll deal with that at the right time".