The continuously growing community of Midrand, formerly known as Halfway House, is a relatively recent addition to Gauteng’s environment, situated halfway between Pretoria and Johannesburg. However, today Midrand sprawls for kilometres, with glitzy corporate headquarters, gated communities, and conference centres quickly covering the last green expanses that lay between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The first office buildings and residential complexes were only constructed here in 1981.
While most people are content to merely drive through Midrand quickly on their way to another city, there are a few hidden jewels that are well worth the detour. The Nizamiye Mosque, the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere, towers over Midrand. It is a stunning structure with astounding attention to detail that was designed after the Ottoman Selimiye Camii Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, from the 16th century.
The mosque includes four towering minarets, over 200 stained-glass windows, and 21 domes, the interiors of which were painstakingly decorated by Turkish artisans. A school, clinic, Turkish grocery, bakery, barbershop, bookshop, carpet and pottery store, and Turkish restaurant are also located within the Nizamiye Mosque complex.
Visitors can learn more about Ottoman architecture and the unique construction of the mosque during hour-long tours of the mosque. The ideal way to end a visit is with a full platter of sizzling kebabs and salads at the Ottoman Palace restaurant or Turkish delicacies and a mug of tea at the Turkish bakery.
The St. Sergius Russian Orthodox Church, which was constructed in 2003, is a beautiful illustration of traditional Russian Orthodox design. It is a remarkable structure that sits neatly in a modest residential area and is topped by five golden domes that are meant to resemble those of the Annunciation Cathedral in Moscow’s Kremlin. A hand-painted icon of Christ Pantocrator can be seen from within the church’s main dome, and the interior of the building is decorated with candles and vibrantly coloured icons of Russian saints.
The greatest private real estate development in South African history, according to reports, is the exclusive gated enclave known as Waterfall Estate. The development of Waterfall, which is already the size of a small town, includes schools, a golf course, an equestrian centre, a five-star hotel and spa, and the enormous Mall of Africa.
One of the best places to eat in Midrand is the resort-like Waterfall Corner shopping centre, which offers a variety of top eateries, including the lovely Life Grand Cafe, the retro-styled Italian restaurant and deli Remo’s, the fine dining seafood restaurant Beluga, and Cape Town’s health-food café brand Nü.
Imbizo Shisanyama, often known as Busy Corner, is one of the biggest braai (barbecue) restaurants in the nation. This popular gathering place is packed on weekends with visitors who come for a typical South African shisa nyama meal of mouthwatering, sizzling, spicy barbecued meats served in a boisterous setting. An encounter that is uniquely South African.
History Of Midrand
Midrand was founded as a municipality in 1981 (in a region known as Halfway House due to its location halfway between Pretoria and Johannesburg), but it lost its status as a separate town in the local government reform that took place when apartheid was abolished in 1994. In 2000, it became a part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It became a part of Region 2 and is now a part of Region A of the City of Johannesburg as of 2006 when there are only seven regions left.
Midrand is still frequently used to refer to the suburbs north of the Jukskei River and up to the border with the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, despite the fact that it is no longer a separate town. The Ben Schoeman Highway is another name for this section of the N1 highway. Country View, Carlswald, Crowthorne, Glen Austin, Ivory Park, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Noordwyk, Randjesfontein, Blue Hills, and Kyalami Agricultural Holdings are just a few of the neighbourhoods that are typically considered to be in Midrand.
According to reports from 2010, the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality wanted to seize Midrand from the City of Johannesburg in order to increase its critically constrained revenue.
The city has seen significant growth in the previous ten years, making it quite modern. Due to its location in the economic hub of the province of Gauteng and access to good highway connections, many firms have migrated there. There isn’t much separation between the precincts of Johannesburg and Pretoria as a result of Midrand’s expansion. Midrand is home to towns including Klipfontein View and Ivory Park.
Places To Visit In Midrand Region
The small-holding country is this. One of the few areas in the Midrand area that is still sufficiently undeveloped to give you a clear idea of what it must have looked like when all of this was Highveld and open terrain. Buccleuch, Midrand, and Vorna Valley are located east of Austin View, which is located east of the M1. A little further east of here lies Tembisa, but Austin View maintains its authenticity of rural living because there aren’t many developments here, and even though the roads are asphalt, they lack the necessary verges or yellow lines found in Johannesburg’s more densely populated districts. You have the impression of living on the periphery of things, away from city lights.
Roads only reluctantly travel out into the veld, stopping at quiet cul-de-sacs since it is so underdeveloped compared to the suburbs around it; the typical grid arrangement of roads that is so common in the city has not yet been a part of life here.
While staying at Austin View, you’ll have quick access to Midrand, Centurion, and Sandton as well as the option to spend your evenings gazing out over the city while being acutely aware that you’re far from anything during the day. Even the occasional vegetable garden can be found if you travel to the intersection of Terrier and Republic roads (the envy of the average Johannesburg suburban home).
Despite being adjacent to Kyalami in Midrand and being practically rural, Beaulieu (pronounced “Bewley”) maintains its status as a respectable and country-like neighbourhood where the affluent live on expansive estates heavily surrounded by security fencing and accessible through a single 24-hour security entrance.
Most of the homes in Beaulieu are Tuscan-style villas with expansive, rolling gardens and a relaxed sense of peace and quiet. Beaulieu, which translates to “beautiful” in French and is named for the small Scottish Highland town of Beauly west of Inverness, is a highly sought-after affluent suburb that is located on the northern edge of Johannesburg. Even though estates and complexes have gradually encroached, it has managed to remain one of the few sites in Johannesburg that has not been affected by the relentless push for expansion.
These sprawling homesteads have vistas that are still primarily green and are reminiscent of country life. It is perfect to stay here because you may enjoy the finest of both worlds. Beaulieu is a rural community yet is never far from anything due to the persistent urban sprawl that has caused the metropolis to slowly encroach.
From Sunninghill, take Woodmead Drive north until you roughly reach Blue Hills, a relatively new neighbourhood in those portions of Midrand that have managed to avoid overdevelopment. Large properties, nearby horse stables, and the Kyalami Country Club, which is directly west of here, all contribute to the neighbourhood’s rural feel. Perched as Blue Hills is on what would be considered a hill in Johannesburg, there are beautiful vistas from here. From Blue Hills, a suburb that is probably so named because of the panorama the hills create while gazing at it from the city, it is easy to understand why Johannesburg has been referred to as the largest man-made forest in the world.
Blue Hills, which is tucked between Main Road and the N1, is the perfect location if you intend to live, work, and play in Midrand. The fact that it even has a golf estate of its own and other little communities with names like “Country View” and “Kosmosdal” gives you an idea of how lovely this place is.
Modern Carlswald is unquestionably located in a prestigious area of Johannesburg, almost in the middle of the distance between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Despite lacking the high rises and having a more industrial vibe than Sandton, Midrand has quickly grown into a business hub that can compete with it. Despite this, every day about 180 000 commuters make their way to this region of the world.
Here, modern townhouses and simplex complexes as well as lifestyle estates have proliferated, and Carlswald is undoubtedly one of the easiest locations from which to access the rest of Johannesburg for those on business. From here, it is simple to reach Grand Central Airport, Kyalami Main Road, New Road, and the N1. Carlswald is not just a place for business. On a clear day, there are expansive vistas of the Magaliesberg to the north, serving as a reminder that life is not all work and no play. The Carlswald Lifestyle shopping centre, a brand-new, open-concept building with a variety of restaurants that flow outside to promote outdoor living, has helped put Carlswald on the map and given locals much-needed access to a neighbourhood shopping centre.