Dictionary: M

Definitions for government terms, listed alphabetically.
Macroeconomics - The study of the overall economic picture in the country.
Magistrates' Courts - The lower courts where a Magistrate makes the decisions. They deal with less serious criminal and civil matters arising in their geographical area.
Maintenance - Money paid monthly by one person to another to support them.

For example, a father pays money to the mother of his children if she is looking after them.

Maintenance Court - The special court that deals with maintenance issues, such as issuing a maintenance order and penalising a person who fails to pay maintenance.
Malnutrition - A bad diet that is missing some of the kinds of food needed to stay healthy.
Mammogram - X-ray of the breast to check for breast cancer.
Market Economy - An economic system where supply and demand determine how many of a certain item are produced and what the price is.
Market research - Studies into consumer behaviour, likes and dislikes.

This information is often used to inform product development and advertising.

Marriage - A legal union between two people. You get civil marriages which are legally recognised and customary marriages which are recognised in specific cultures (for example a Muslim marriage).
MCWH - Maternal, Child and Women's Health
Mechanisation - When machines and other automated processes replace human workers.
Mediation - A way of solving a dispute where an independent facilitator tries to reconcile the two parties.
Members of the Executive Council (MECs) - The members of the provincial parliament that are responsible for the various provincial Departments.

For example, Mr Ibrahim Rasool is the MEC for Finance and Economic Development in the Western Cape.

Menopause - Time in a woman's life, usually between 45 and 55, when menstruation ends and she stops being able to bear children.
Mentorship - A process where someone with knowledge and experience guides someone with less knowledge and experience.

For example, when a successful businessperson provides advice and guidance to someone who is just starting their business.

Methodology - The approach or plan you adopt in order to set about achieving something.

For example, you would need to choose a specific research methodology before you implement a study.

Micro-lending - The business of providing people with small loans, typically at a high interest rate.
Microeconomics - A study of the smaller components of the economy consumer, household and business behaviour.
Migrant - A person who travels to and from an area.

For example, a migrant labourer is someone who travels away from home to find work but returns again periodically.

Mini-bus taxis - Sixteen-seater vehicles used as public transport.
MINMEC meeting - Meetings between the national Minister and the nine provincial Members of the Executive Council (MECs) dealing with the same portfolio.

For example, when all the provincial Ministers of Health meet with the national Minister of Health.

Minor - A person who is under 21 and is not regarded as a full adult under the law.
Minority - A group who is outnumbered.

For example, in an election, the party that gets fewer votes than the others is the minority party.

Mission - A strategic goal. What an organisation needs to do in order to achieve its overall vision.
Mortality rate - How many people die in a year, usually expressed per 1 000 of the population.
Multi-denominational - Including many churches.