UPDATE 1-S.Africa's Eskom says Stage 4 power cuts continue amid labour action

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CAPE TOWN, June 26 (Reuters) - South Africa's Eskom will continue with "Stage 4" power cuts until Wednesday as unlawful labour action at various plants impact maintenance work, the state-owned power utility said on Sunday.

Suffering some of its worst electricity generation problems in a decade of forced power cuts, known locally as load shedding, Eskom's struggles have recently taken a turn for the worse due to a salary dispute with workers.

"Eskom regrets to inform the public that Stage 4 loadshedding is anticipated to continue from 05:00 on Monday morning until midnight at least until Wednesday," the utility said in a statement.

"This is due to unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations, which has caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs".

On Friday the firm was forced to widen electricity cuts over the weekend as labour protests linked to deadlocked wage talks disrupt operations.

The utility, which has struggled to meet power demand in Africa's most industrialised nation for over a decade, has been implementing "Stage 2" rotational outages.

However, it increased the severity of the outages to "Stage 4," requiring up to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity to be shed from the national grid and meant to end at 2200 GMT on Sunday. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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