The days when the Halfway House of the 70’s and 80’s was little more than a corner cafe with a race track nearby are long gone. Once it began in ernst during the 1990’s, the development of Midrand was swift. So much so, that Midrand is now home to a train station (Gautrain), an airport (Grand Central), one the largest conference venues in South Africa (Gallagher Convention Centre), the largest mall in Africa (Mall of Africa) and is home to the home of Motor Racing in South Africa (Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit & International Convention Centre. We also have what is suggested to be the largest Mosque (Nizamiye Masjid) the Southern Hemisphere. What makes Midrand such an ‘in demand’ location for business and development?
Location is everything … Midrand has it all
Any market researcher will tell you that locating your business in any place requires consideration beyond which I will explain here, but it is hugely important from so many aspects. Accessibility is the one thing that stands out. Midrand is easily accessible from numerous points including road, rail and air. The ‘town’ is slap bang between Johannesburg and Pretoria, a short drive to the economic hub of Sandton and Oliver Tambo International Airport.
Highway routes, onramps and offramps to different areas of the Gauteng province and national roads and highways leading to other provinces are all accessible from Midrand or within just a kilometre or two of the town. It is difficult to see Midrand as town anymore. It is fast growing the presence of a city.
Appealing Structures as opposed to the ugly of old
Over the last 10 years new and more appealing buildings have been shooting up all over Midrand. Due to its growth Midrand is being sectioned into districts and industrial, office and residential spaces/borders are becoming more clearly defined with office and accommodation estates popping up all over the show. Sure, there are those ugly, ‘made to make money’ accommodation monstrosities which appear but some awesome office blocks and shopping malls, in particular, have punctuated much of Midrand’s development with exclamation marks. As a result these have made Midrand a destination for shoppers from other areas of the Gauteng province.
Major players investing in and residing in our ‘town’
Some major contributors to the South African economy have headquarters located in Midrand. BMW Head Office is a long term resident having moved from Isando to Midrand in 1986. Some other names you will recognise are Vodacom, Attacq, Eskom, Netstar, Diageo SA, Colgate Palmolive and PwC South Africa (HQ in PwC Tower at Waterfall City which is owned by Attacq.)
The town has the potential to be an awesome city!
Town planners, community and business have a big responsibility when it comes to growing and developing Midrand into a world class destination. We all need to play a part in opposing destructive and unsustainable practices and ideas. As a community we need to develop relationships both on the ground, in pubs and bars and unite as a people with one aim. We need to meet more, try new things and meet new people from different cultures. Midrand has a vibrant multi-national presence in the form of business and individuals. No matter how great and how much potential a town has, it is the contribution of the people who live there which will make it stand out from the rest.