An independent government in Namibia will have to accept, at least at first, its economic links with South Africa, whose government it calls the "apartheid colonialists." About 90% of its exports go to South Africa and three-fourths of imports, mostly food, come from there.
Its primary port city, Walvis Bay, will remain a South African enclave even after independence.
SWAPO has promised over the years to redistribute the country's resources and exert more centralized control over the economy. The main target for land redistribution is whites, especially foreign absentee landlords.
"There are white farmers here who own up to 20 farms. That is a crime," Hidipo Hamutenya, SWAPO's chief spokesman, says. "They will be asked to choose the one they like best and give the rest to the people."
But SWAPO leaders also have said that farmers using their land effectively and producing food for the country will be left alone. And they say no land will be confiscated without negotiation with the owners.
SWAPO is counting on the country's reserve of diamonds, uranium and other minerals, which now make up 75% of foreign exchange earnings, to help it improve the schools, health care and housing of black Namibians.
Although it once believed in nationalizing the mining industry, SWAPO now says it intends to negotiate new contracts with the mining companies. It specifically has said that the companies will be required to reinvest "a substantial part" of their profits in Namibia.
The mining companies, which currently have a tax rate of 60%, doubt they can afford to pay more. But they believe Namibia's mineral potential has been largely untapped and that more mining companies will be lured here if trade sanctions against Pretoria, which still extend to Namibia, are lifted.
SWAPO's biggest headache, though, may be dealing with the raised expectations of the black masses, most of whom are landless and 30% jobless.
"We will educate the people that independence is not a panacea, that they will have to work hard and produce," Hage Geingob, SWAPO's election director, recently told the South African magazine Leadership. "It would be a serious mistake to believe that independence is the time for people to make big claims on the state."