At the turn of the 21st century English ?has at last become of age as a global language? (Graddol 2006: 12), dominating practically all functional domains of consequence, from maritime navigation and aviation to international politics, business, media, and technology to academic research (Crystal 2003a). Although English is only the latest in a long line of historical regional and supraregional linguae francae, its position of global reach and domination is unprecedented and raises questions about the implications of a hegemonic global lingua franca. The current paradigms theorizing world English(es) show a partisan sensitivity to the geopolitical implications of a global lingua franca, while challenges to the global hegemony of English seek accommodation rather than radical change. Following Fairclough (2006) and Harvey (2006) I adopt a transdisciplinary approach with insights from sociolinguistics and applied linguistics, social theory, and developmental and globalization studies in an attempt to understand the role of English in what Harvey calls ?uneven geographical development? of the world. On account of its post-apartheid transformation as well as its history, South Africa represents a comparatively rare ecology which provides insights into the full range of phenomena related to global English. Similar to the constitution in an earlier historical period of a distinct cultural political economy of the nation state primarily on the basis of a standardized national language, we may be witnessing the constitution of a global cultural political economy on the basis of English as a global lingua franca (EGLF) as a de facto global standard language, playing a role similar to that of the national standard languages, on a larger scale. I suggest that post-apartheid South Africa, extrapolated to the scalar order of the globe, exemplifies a larger trend of neoliberal unification of global capitalist elites on the basis of a common language ? English, or rather EGLF.