The government has adopted populist policies that the country cannot afford, says FirstRand chairman Roger Jardine. These policies include "higher public-sector wages, a questionable approach to higher education funding" and the introduction of national health insurance, the chairman of Africa’s biggest bank by value said in FirstRand’s annual report on Thursday. If the government’s drive to amend legislation to transfer land to black owners without compensation is "implemented poorly" it runs the risk of compromising the property rights of SA citizens, Jardine said. With elections looming next year, President Cyril Ramaphosa has embraced the notion of expropriation without compensation and has said the country’s constitution may need to be changed to allow for this.

"So far, the presidency is navigating this issue well," Jardine said. "The process is transparent and designed to be inclusive of all views, but the assertion that mortgaged private property assets can be expropri...

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