"I've been working hard. That I'm here right now is not by luck or chance‚" Mokotjo said on Saturday at the Bafana team hotel near Cairo International Airport.
"I hope to stay in the setup for as long as I can. Even when challenges arise‚ and when the competition gets stronger I'll keep playing my own game‚ and I'll be in the right mental space."
Playing at this Afcon will complete an international journey for Mokotjo that began when his Amajita generation reached the last-16 of the 2009 Fifa U-20 World Cup‚ also in Egypt.
"It's good being back for the whole team‚ not just the team that played in the U20 World Cup‚" Mokotjo said.
"But Ja‚ we're here under a different coach‚ under different circumstances. I think it's a big honour for all of us to be representing the country in the biggest tournament in Africa."
Bafana are in for a tough first half‚ especially‚ in their 4.30pm kickoff game‚ when temperatures in Cairo are still in the high 30s Celsius. Global players' union Fifpro have raised concerns about the Afcon's early matches being played in such conditions. Nigeria forward Samuel Kalu collapsed in a training session in Alexandria on Friday suffering from dehydration.
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said Cape Town City right-back Thamsanqa Mkhize felt faint and needed attention from team doctor Dr Thulani Ngwenya after a South Africa session.
After Ivory Coast‚ SA meet Namibia on Friday (kickoff 7pm)‚ then Morocco on Monday‚ July 1 (6pm)‚ all Bafana's Group D matches being played at Al Salam Stadium.