Kwadlangezwa - Banks should be forced to invest in low-cost housing, SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.
The state should move from merely regulating to actively directing the private sector, he told delegates at the party's elective conference near Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
Delivering his political report, Nzimande said the state had to direct the private sector towards developmental outcomes and objectives.
"Legislation must be made to force South African banks to invest in low-cost housing. It is after all the money of the working class."
Earlier, outgoing SA Communist Party chairperson Gwede Mantashe urged party members to join the African National Congress.
"Our ability to influence and advance our agenda will be determined by our immersion in the structures and programmes of our alliance partners," he said.
"The reality facing the party today... is that of communists who are not even members of the ANC."
Mantashe said there were several SACP members at national level who held top positions in the ANC and cabinet.
But there was a lack of "cross-pollination" between the two parties at a provincial level, with the exception of the Eastern Cape.
Mantashe said his decision to step down as party chairperson was not newsworthy.
"This (decision) is born of practical consideration that one is doing a disservice to the party by being an absentee chairperson."
*Follow Fin24 on Facebook