President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - "Let us declare that enough is enough." These were the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa who was addressing the nation in a televised speech on Thursday, revealing government's plan to tackle gender-based violence.

But Ramaphosa's speech was thin on details. One of his proposals to Parliament will be around the National Register of Sexual Offenders.

"We are going to overhaul and improve the National Register and Violence Against Women and Children. I will urge parliament to amend legislation so that the National Register of Sexual Offenders is made public," Ramaphosa said.

He also said he would propose to Parliament that all crimes against women and men attract harsher sentences. 

"A life sentence must mean a men who perpetrates violence against women must be in prison for life."

Ramaphosa also addressed the wave the riots and attacks against foreign nationals.

"Over the past few days our country has been deeply traumatized and troubled by acts of violence and criminality directed against foreign nationals and our own citizens," Ramaphosa said.

"People have lost their lives, families have been traumatized ... We know that at least 10 people have been killed in the violence. Two of whom were foreign nationals." 

Earlier on Thursday, the president spoke to thousands of #AmINext protesters outside Parliament, saying he would declare a state of emergency.

The march comes after the rape and murder of 19-year-old UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, the murder of 19-year-old UWC student Jesse Hess and the fatal shooting of boxing champion Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels.

Thursday was the second day of protests against femicide in Cape Town. 

Chaos erupted on Wednesday when the police used stun grenades and water cannons to disperse the group of protesters which consisted of students and members of civil advocacy groups. Eleven protesters were arrested and taken to Cape Town Police Station. They have since been released.

IOL and Reuters