Bafana Bafana face the west Africans in Durban and have been forced into a change following the suspension of regular right-back Anele Ngcongca.
Gaxa is set to fill in, and he assures the fans he is ready for the challenge.
“We have to be positive all the time,” the Kaizer Chiefs man says. “No-one is guaranteed a place in the team; everyone deserves to play, but only 11 can start at any given time.
“It would be nice for me to represent my country on home soil. I am really looking forward to that if I do start. I have played more than 50 times for the national team and this would be one of the big games for me and for the country.”
For his part, Ngcongca is confident his replacement will do the job against Mali.
“It’s sad that I won’t feature in this match because I was really looking forward to it, but then again it’s part of the game,” the Belgium-based player says.
“It’s a great pity that I won’t be on field but I am confident that whoever gets the chance will do a magnificent job because we are all working on one mission – to proceed to the semi-finals and go all the way in the tournament.”