'Schillo' is returning for his fourth spell with the Merseyside club, and arguably played his best football in the six months he spent on loan with Everton in the second half of last season.
His form with the Toffees persuaded cash-strapped Everton to fork out almost R60-million for his services, but Neville believes the Bafana skipper is worth every penny.
"The way he played last year, he came back and seemed even better than he was in his first spell at the club," Neville says. "He lights up the place, there's no question about that. The players trust him, the manager trusts him and he makes us a better team.
"We all rely so much on him and I think he thrives on that sort of responsibility. I love him as a player. You can give him the ball in any position and he takes the ball and makes others around him play.
"Without being a great talker or being demanding of people, his body language and the way he leads by example on the pitch is fantastic."
Pienaar will make his fourth Everton debut against Manchester United on August 25, with his equalising goal against the Red Devils in a 4-4 draw towards the end of last season arguably the turning point in the title-race that saw Manchester City eventually lift the Premiership title.