Midrand was established as a municipality in 1981 (in an area known as Halfway House, after its position between Pretoria and Johannesburg), but ceased to be an independent town in the restructuring of local government that followed the end of apartheid in 1994. It was incorporated in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in 2000. It was made part of Region 2 and, as of 2006, when the number of regions were reduced to seven, it forms part of Region A.
Though no longer an independent town, the name Midrand is still in common use to denote the suburbs around the N1 highway north of the Jukskei River up to the border with City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. (This portion of the N1 highway is also known as the Ben Schoeman Highway.) Suburbs that are generally regarded as being in Midrand include among others: Country View, Carlswald, Crowthorne, Glen Austin, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Noordwyk, Randjesfontein.
The city is relatively modern, having experienced much growth in the last decade. Many businesses have relocated there due to its proximity to good highway links and its location in the economic centre of Gauteng Province. Midrand's development has meant there is little break between the outskirts of Johannesburg and those of Pretoria, and the Gauteng Provincial Government envisages that, according to current growth trends, much of the province will be city by 2015.
The newest landmark of Midrand is the Nizamiye Masjid, the largest mosque in South Africa. The Classical Turkish-style mosque was personally funded by Turkish-born construction tycoon Ali Katircioglu at a cost of R210 Million.
The largest single phase shopping mall to be built in Africa, The Mall of Africa, is located in the Waterfall City precinct of the town