The conference was set to start at 9am but five-and-a-half hours later proceedings had still not begun.
A group of delegates dressed in black ANCYL T-shirts and luminous green peaked caps sang and danced outside the plenary hall.
Others sat around waiting for proceedings to start or queued to pass through security and enter the hall.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to open the conference later on Wednesday once all delegates have arrived and been seated.
The conference was meant to be the league’s elective conference but the national task team (NTT) announced on Tuesday that delegates would no longer elect new leaders.
NTT co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe said the elective phase was planned for 2015.
It is the second postponement of the election of new leadership after the elective congress was originally scheduled for September 24 to 28.
Mzobe said this week’s consultative forum would deal only with political, organisational, and functional reports, and would have commissions dealing with policy documents.
A conference at which new ANCYL leaders would be elected would be held early next year, Mzobe said.
Converting the elective congress to a consultative one meant ANCYL delegates could concentrate more on policy and rebuilding the league, instead of worrying about electing leaders.
The NTT was put in place last year after the ANC disbanded the ANCYL’s national executive committee.