File picture: ANA

Johannesburg - Cash-strapped national carrier South African Airways on Thursday rejected as false reports that it was paying more for its bottled water and fuel than the market price.

"We took note of comments on social media platforms suggesting that we procure at premium commodities such as bottled water and fuel. Nothing could be further from the truth," SAA said in a statement.

Read: Zuma denies decision has been taken to move SAA from Treasury

'SAA must be supported by all South Africans' - Javed Malik

SAA losses set to widen to R4bn, CFO says

It said it bought bottled water at a rate less than the wholesale price (R2.75) suggested on social media platforms and was also comfortable it was buying fuel, which accounts for about 25 percent of its operating costs, "within a competitive price range".

Last month, SAA's chief financial officer told Parliament the airline's losses for the current year were expected to reach R4 billion, exceeding a forecast of R2.8 billion, due to the retirement of five aircraft which had forced it to cancel flights.

New chief executive Vuyani Jarana told Parliament's standing committee on finance that SAA would have to find R4 billion to pay back foreign and local lenders by the end of March in 2018.

African News Agency/ANA