Thabiso Kutumela’s 42nd minute strike proved the difference, although it could have been a more comfortable evening for the Team of Choice had they been more clinical in front of goal.
In the end thought it was all about the result for Eric Tinkler and his men as they crucially secured their first win of the season.
The home side began the night well, displaying some neat interplay, and there were chances as Mxolisi Kunene headed straight at Patrick Tingyemb before Kutumela pulled a shot wide.
United were then given the opportunity to take the lead after Kunene was taken out by Thabo Rakhale in the box and a penalty was given.
But Jeremy Brockie, making his debut, had his 20th minute spot kick saved by Tingyemb.
Soon after at the other end the Chilli Boys nearly scored against the run of play when William Twala's volley crashed into the crossbar.
Maritzburg though remained on the ascendancy and kept looking for a goal. But it wouldn’t go their way as Tingyemb made a brilliant reflex save to stop Brockie’s snap volley, before also blocking Bandile Shandu’s shot from an angle, with the rebound narrowly failing to reach Kutumela.
More frustration followed when Kunene powered a 20-yard rocket against the woodwork seven minutes before the break.
Finally the breakthrough came though, as Kutumela pounced on a loose ball 20-yards out and steered a low shot past Tingyemb.
The Chilli Boys came out with more purpose in the second half and the hosts were unable to control the game as they had done in the opening 45 minutes.
That said, the KwaZulu-Natal could have found the cushion of a second goal on the hour mark when Tingyemb parried a stinging shot from Kunene into Kutumela's path, but from 14-yards out he fired over the goal.
Chippa upped the ante in the closing 25 minutes and chances came as William Twala had a volley blocked before Rhulani Manzini went close from a tight angle.
Manzini continued to threaten as he narrowly missed with a header and then struck a free kick just over the bar.
The visitors kept the pressure on United right up until the end, with the Team of Choice having to defend bravely to ensure the first win, much to the delight of the sizable crowd out in Pietermaritzburg.
Maritzburg: Ofori, De Reuck, Morgan, Xulu, Kunene, Ntshangase, Claasen, Kutumela, Shandu, Lea'Alafa, Brockie
Subs: Mpandle, Moseamedi, Allie, HlongwaneSanoka, Nyoni, Sangweni
Chippa: Tignyemb, Moyo, Mthethwa, Mashaba, Malepe, Damons, Lentjies, Komane, Rakhale, Twala, R.Manzini
Subs: Mazibuko, Maselesa, Maziya, Mbenyane, L.Manzini, Nsabiyumva, Reid