Ms Mokonyane participated actively in the struggle against apartheid from the age of 15. During that period she became a member of the Young Christian Students (YCS) and she was a founder member of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS).
She is a former activist and leader of the Civic Movement -Kagiso Residents Organisation; a former shop-steward and leader of CCAWUSA (now SACCAWU). She was continuously harassed and detained by the apartheid security police but continued to serve in different leadership capacities in the ANC and its Alliance structures, including as a member of the Central Committee of the SACP, NEC member of the ANCWL and NEC member of the ANC since 1994.
Ms Mokonyane has been part of the ANC cadres who became public representatives in 1994. She has served in the Gauteng Legislature in various Portfolio Committees and she became a member of the United Democratic Front (UDF); a member and Organiser of the Federation of Transvaal Women; a Chairperson of the ANC branch in the West Rand; a Deputy Chairperson of the ANCWL; a member of the South African Communist Party Central Committee and a member of the ANCWL National Executive Committee.
She has also served as a Chairperson of the Housing Sub-Committee; as a member of the Gauteng Executive Council (MEC) for Agriculture, Conservation and Environment from 1996 to 1999; MEC for Safety and Liaison from 1999 to 2004; and as MEC for Housing from 2004 to 2009.
Ms Mokonyane championed the process that led to Sterkfontein being awarded the status of a World Heritage Site 1996 until 1999 and she established three Metro Police structures during her tenure. She also established Victim Support centres at police stations; and established a One-Stop centre at a provincial level for victims of sexual offences and domestic violence, in Braamfontein Johannesburg, called Ikhaya le Themba, 'Home of Hope'.
She also initiated the Championing policy and the housing delivery strategy; she promoted and fostered partnerships and ensure that there is an administration that serves people with care. She was commited in promoting women enterprises in the construction and housing sector and led the Twenty Priority Township Programme such as renewal of Gauteng's old townships.