The Team of Choice had been heading for safety when Fortune Makaringe put them ahead on 19 minutes, but Bakgaga fought back to equalise in the 65th minute.
United will now face Royal Eagles and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC in a three-way promotion-relegation play-off after Free State Stars lost to Mamelodi Sundowns and ended in 16th spot.
Despite the disappointment of not bieng able to hold on for the win, it was still a very brave showing from Maritzburg over the last few weeks as they beat both SuperSport United and Black Leopards before claiming the point at Baroka.
The KZN Capital City team made a positive start to the game in Polokwane, and were unlucky not to go ahead after just five minutes when Mohau Mokate’s sixth minute header from an Allan Kateregga corner hit the bar.
United remained on top, enjoying a series of corner kicks. And it was from a 19th minute corner that they went in front - after Baroka keeper Elvis Chipezeze dropped Kateregga’s delivery, Makaringe reacted quickest to fire in a first time shot.
Following the goal though, United battled to create openings and increasingly found themselves on the back foot.
Goalkeeper Richard Ofori was called into action a few times, making fairly routine saves from Isaac Selemela and Onkabetse Makgantai before half time.
After the restart, Maritzburg were still unable to wrestle back the initiative and when they failed to clear a 65th minute free kick, Mduduzi Mdatsane slammed the ball into the net from 12-yards out.
With the home side now happy to protect their point and to try and run down the clock, it was difficult for the Team of Choice to create openings to score.
And it took a good save from Ofori to keep out Mdatsane’s 88th minute effort.
With the winner not coming, Maritzburg were forced to wait for the Sundowns / Free State Stars game to finish, the result fortunately going their way as United's spot in the play-offs was confirmed.
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mosele, Kgoetyane, Selemela, Ntswane, Sibiya, Makgantai.Mongae, Patjie, Madigoe, Mdantsane
Subs: Makgaka, Dlamini, Sodi, Makume, Mabeba, Mapheto, Chivaviro
Maritzburg: Ofori, De Reuck, Xulu, Allie, Ndlovu, Timm, Shandu, Makaringe, Kateregga, Zakri, Mokate,
Subs: Mpandle, Hlongwane, Matsi, Kunene,Mekoa, Farmer, Moseamedi