South Africa booked their ticket to the continental tournament after defeating Libya in their last qualifier two months ago.
Cele, who represented South Africa at the youth level, feels that there is still a long way to go before the 1996 African champions can dominate the continent.
“Are we just happy that we qualified or do we ask ourselves if we really deserved to qualify by way of creating the chance for it?,” asked Cele in an interview with The Citizen.
“When you start something, it grows and when it gets to levels of success, you are not surprised by the success, you know it’s time and you move forward knowing that you are ready for the next phase," he continued.
Cele believes that the current team will ride its luck and once it runs out there will be nothing left to use as a template to rebuild Bafana, who are under the guidance of coach Stuart Baxter.
“I don’t think we have prepared for the next phase. We placed all our energy in qualifying for the Afcon. We can’t go there placing our hopes on luck but there needs to be a plan," he added.
“One game we used (Thembinkosi) Lorch, the next we use (Lebo) Mothiba and we qualified, but what about the tournament and what will do there? There is no continuity. We need to grow together so that we can weather the storm," he said.
“I know we will be playing countries that have the same problems as us and will make it out of the group stages but in the World Cup against Germany who have their house in order and built for years - we might not make it," he concluded.
Bafana Bafana have been drawn in Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.
Bafana Bafana will begin their Afcon campaign against Cote d'Ivoire in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.