Johannesburg - The mining industry will play an important role in delivering 11 million additional jobs as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP), ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
"It is fair to say that the NDP, representing our vision 2030, particularly the R3 trillion infrastructure plan, rests largely on successful mining industry," Mkhize told the National Union of Mineworkers' central committee meeting in Pretoria.
"While there may be issues for continuous debate and engagement, the African National Congress urges all South Africans to unite behind the plan because we recognise that there may be areas where some may express a differing view on some of its aspects."
Mkhize said it was the first time that the country had a long-term plan which created stability and continuity and should be seen as a step in the right direction.
There has been criticism of the NDP from the Congress of SA Trade Unions and some of its affiliates.
While addressing NUM on Thursday, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said some areas of the NDP were in conflict with the trade union federation and the NUM's standing policies.
"We cannot accept its view that the way to create jobs is through the deregulation of the labour market and the introduction of lower entry wages for young workers," said Vavi.
"We shall also reject its major labour market proposals to entrench and further promote a multi-tier labour market and the downward variation of minimum standards of employment."
Vavi said Cosatu would resist these "anti-worker" proposals from ever being implemented by government and employers.
The National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) has also publicly criticised the plan.
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim previously said the union saw the NDP as a departure from the ANC's Freedom Charter and as no different from Democratic Alliance policies. He said capitalists were "very happy" with it.
Earlier on Thursday, NUM president Senzeni Zokwana in a veiled reference to Numsa said the ANC could not be accused of stealing DA policies.
"How can you claim the ANC has copied a DA document when the DA has copied an ANC document?," he asked the meeting.
He said there needed to be solidarity.