In a tweet on Thursday, Mboweni said he compared the city's streets to those of Kigali, the tiny capital of Rwanda, where he is visiting, saying they were "clean and beautiful."
"What a contrast!" Mboweni said of the two cities.
He tweeted: “On 26 December 2018 I decided to drive around the Johannesburg Central Business District. It was filthy and embarrassing. I came across these shacks in the middle of our city. This morning I arrived here to a clean and beautiful city of Kigali, Rwanda. What a contrast!”
In an updated tweet, Mboweni said “all of us have a responsibility to keep our towns, cities and the countryside clean and habitable.”
“If we don’t throw dirt around and the municipalities collect rubbish regularly, we can achieve a lot,” he added.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has been at the forefront of attempts to keep the city clean since he was elected to the post two years ago.
Mashaba's monthly, city-wide volunteer cleaning campaign, dubbed A Re Sebetseng, was launched in August last year. It is based on the successful monthly cleaning campaign of Kigali, named Umuganda.
A Re Sebetseng means "let’s work" and calls on communities to take ownership of their communities by working towards a common goal: having a clean city.